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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31794

Title: The C. elegans p53 Family Gene cep-1 and the Nondisjunction Gene him-5 are Required for Meiotic Recombination
Authors: Jolliffe, Anita Kristine
Advisor: Derry, William Brent
Department: Molecular and Medical Genetics
Keywords: meiotic recombination
p53
C. elegans
Issue Date: 10-Jan-2012
Abstract: p53 promotes maintenance of genetic information either by causing apoptosis of damaged cells, or by altering the cell cycle and repair pathways such that damage can be accurately repaired. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans possesses only one p53 family member, CEP-1, that controls apoptosis and the cell cycle in response to genotoxic stress. Mutation in the meiotic gene him-5 increases nondisjunction of the X chromosome, resulting in increased frequencies of XO male and XXX Dpy progeny, and it affects the frequency of meiotic recombination on X. him-5 is allelic to the ORF D1086.4, which encodes a putative basic protein with no clear homologues or domain structure. The modest embryonic lethality (Emb) of him-5 mutants is dramatically increased by mutation of cep-1 but no change is seen in the proportion of XO male or XXX Dpy progeny. The synergistic effects of cep-1 and him-5 mutation are independent of CEP-1's DNA damage regulators and other meiotic mutants, and they do not involve deregulated apoptosis. cep-1; him-5 double mutants have abnormal chromatin morphology in diakinesis-arrested oocytes reminiscent of that seen in double strand break (DSB) repair mutants. This phenotype depends on the presence of SPO-11-induced meiotic DSBs, suggesting CEP-1 and HIM-5 function together to promote accurate recombination during meiosis. In support of this hypothesis, cep-1; him-5 show a significant reduction in crossover frequency between autosomal markers compared to wild-type or either single mutant alone, suggesting they function together to promote meiotic crossing over. The X chromosome nondisjunction in both him-5 and cep-1; him-5 is a result of failure of DSB formation and subsequent chiasma formation on the X. However, the embryonic lethality phenotype of him-5 and cep-1; him-5 is caused by a defect either downstream or in parallel to meiotic DSB formation. The diakinesis chromatin phenotype of cep-1; him-5 suggests this defect may be in meiotic DSB repair. This is confirmed by the fact that cep-1; him-5 animals show more persistent meiotic DSB-associated RAD-51 foci staining compared to wild-type, suggesting CEP-1 and HIM-5 may function in efficient resolution of SPO-11-induced DSBs during meiosis. A role for CEP-1 in promoting accurate repair of DSBs during meiosis may be related to p53's function in promoting faithful meiotic recombination in mammalian cells. HIM-5's role in DSB formation and repair suggests another mechanistic link between these recombination steps. Meiotic recombination is vital for genome stability, and characterization of the role of CEP-1 and HIM-5 will increase our understanding of the p53 family and genetic redundancy at multiple steps in this process.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/31794
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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