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The COMPASS Subunit Spp1 Links Histone Methylation to Initiation of Meiotic Recombination

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Science  15 Nov 2012:
1225739
DOI: 10.1126/science.1225739

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Abstract

Novel combinatorial associations of genetic traits arise from homologous recombination between parental chromosomes during meiosis. Histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation marks meiotic recombination hotspots in yeast and mammals, but how this ubiquitous chromatin modification relates to initiation of Spo11-dependent double-strand breaks (DSB) remains unknown. Here, we show that the tethering of the PHD-containing protein, Spp1, a component of the COMPASS complex to recombinationally cold regions is sufficient to induce DSB formation. Furthermore, we found that Spp1 physically interacts with Mer2, a key protein of the differentiated chromosomal axis required for DSB formation. Thus, Spp1, by interacting with H3K4me3 and Mer2, promotes recruitment of potential meiotic DSB sites to the chromosomal axis, allowing Spo11 cleavage at nearby nucleosome-depleted regions.

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