Differential effects of the mismatch repair genes MSH2 and MSH3 on homeologous recombination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The products of the yeast mismatch repair genes MSH2 and MSH3 participate in the inhibition of genetic recombination between homeologous (divergent) DNA sequences. In strains deficient for these genes, homeologous recombination rates between repeated elements are elevated due to the loss of this inhibition. In this study, the effects of these mutations were further analyzed by quantitation of mitotic homeologous recombinants as crossovers, gene conversions or exceptional events in wild-type, msh2, msh3 and msh2 msh3 mutant strains. When homeologous sequences were present as a direct repeat in one orientation, crossovers and gene conversions were elevated in msh2, msh3 and msh2 msh3 strains. The increases were greater in the msh2 msh3 double mutant than in either single mutant. When the order of the homeologous sequences was reversed, the msh2 mutation again yielded increased rates of crossovers and gene conversions. However, in an msh3 strain, gene conversions occurred at higher levels but interchromosomal crossovers were not increased and intrachromosomal crossovers were reduced relative to wild type. The msh2 msh3 double mutant behaved like the msh2 single mutant in this orientation. Control strains harboring homologous duplications were largely but not entirely unaffected in mutant strains, suggesting specificity for the mismatched intermediates of homeologous recombination. In all strains, very few (< 10%) recombinants could be attributed to exceptional events. These results suggest that MSH2 and MSH3 can function differentially to control homeologous exchanges.


Mol Gen Genet. 1997 Dec;257(1):71-82.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Molecular and general genetics : MGG

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