Recombination Hotspots in Nonallelic Homologous Recombination

  • Matthew E. Hurles
  • James R. Lupski


Rearrangement breakpoints resulting from nonallelic homologous recombination (NAHR) are typically clustered within small, well-defined portions of the segmental duplications that promote the rearrangement. These NAHR “hotspots” have been identified in every NAHR-promoted rearrangement in which breakpoint junctions have been sequenced in sufficient numbers. Enhancement of recombinatorial activity in NAHR hotspots varies from 3 to 237 times more than in the surrounding “cold” duplicated sequence. NAHR hotspots share many features in common with allelic homologous recombination (AHR) hotspots. Both AHR and NAHR hotspots appear to be relatively small (<2 kb) and are initiated by double-strand breaks. Gene conversion events as well as crossovers are enhanced at NAHR hotspots. Recent work has improved our understanding of the origins of NAHR and AHR hotspots, with both appearing to be relatively short-lived phenomena. Our present understanding of NAHR hotspots comes from a limited number of locus-specific studies. In the future, we can expect genome-wide analyses to provide many further insights.


Gene Conversion Segmental Duplication Meiotic Recombination Concerted Evolution Duplicate Sequence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew E. Hurles
    • 1
  • James R. Lupski
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.The Sanger InstituteWellcome Trust Genome CampusCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of Molecular and Human GeneticsBaylor College of MedicineHouston
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsBaylor College of MedicineHouston

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