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

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Science  11 Jan 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6116, pp. 215-218
DOI: 10.1126/science.1225739

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Repair and Recombination

In most sexually reproducing organisms, the haploid gametes are produced by meiosis, a specialized cell-division during which recombination between the parental chromosomes ensures proper chromosome segregation. Double-strand breaks (DSB) generated in the DNA drive this recombination and are linked to recombination hotspots in the chromatin where histone H3 is methylated on lysine residue 4 (H3K4me) by the Set1C/COMPASS enzyme complex. Acquaviva et al. (p. 215, published online 15 November) show that the Mer2/Mei4/Rec114 complex of the DSB generating machinery is linked to the Set1C/COMPASS enzyme complex through the Spp1 subunit, which contains a PHD-finger capable of binding to H3K4me. The Spp1 subunit recruits the Mer2 protein to sites where recombination will occur, probably by binding to both the H3K4me-marked chromatin and other factors.