, Volume 263, Issue 1, pp 81-89

Involvement of the Inverted Repeat of the yeast 2-micron plasmid in Flp site-specific and RAD52-dependent homologous recombination

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Site-specific recombination within the Saccharomyces cerevisiae 2-micron DNA plasmid is catalyzed by the Flp recombinase at specific Flp Recognition Target (FRT) sites, which lie near the center of two precise 599-bp Inverted Repeats (IRs). However, the role of IR DNA sequences other than the FRT itself for the function of the Flp reaction in vivo is not known. In the present work we report that recombination efficiency differs depending on whether the FRT or the entire IR serves as the substrate for Flp. We also provide evidence for the involvement of the IR in RAD52-dependent homologous recombination. In contrast, the catalysis of site-specific recombination between two FRTs does not require the function of RAD52. The efficiency of Flp site-specific recombination between two IRs cloned in the same orientation is about one hundred times higher than that obtained when only the two FRTs are present. Moreover, we demonstrate that a single IR can activate RAD52-dependent homologous recombination between two flanking DNA regions, providing new insights into the role of the IR as a substrate for recombination and a new experimental tool with which to study the molecular mechanism of homologous recombination.

Received: 14 June 1999 / Accepted: 3 November 1999