Chk2 homologue Mek1 limits Exo1-dependent DNA end resection during meiotic recombination in S. cerevisiae

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The conserved Rad2/XPG family 5’—3’ exonuclease, Exonuclease 1 (Exo1), plays many roles in DNA metabolism including during resolution of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) via homologous recombination. Prior studies provided evidence that the end-resection activity of Exo1 is downregulated in yeast and mammals by Cdk1/2 family cyclin-dependent and checkpoint kinases, including budding yeast kinase Rad53 which functions in mitotic cells. Here we provide evidence that the master meiotic kinase Mek1, a paralogue of Rad53, limits 5’-3’ single strand resection at the sites of programmed meiotic DNA breaks. Mutational analysis suggests that the mechanism of Exo1 suppression by Mek1 differs from that of Rad53.

Article Summary

Meiotic recombination involves formation of programmed DNA double strand breaks followed by 5’ to 3’ single strand specific resection by nucleases including Exo1. We find that the activity of budding yeast Exo1 is downregulated during meiotic recombination by the master meiotic kinase Mek1. The mechanism of downregulation of Exo1 by Mek1 in meiosis does not depend on the same phospho-sites as those used by the mitotic kinase Rad53, a relative of Mek1 that downregulates Exo1 in mitosis.

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