Alleles of the homologous recombination gene, RAD59, identify multiple responses to disrupted DNA replication in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
© Liddell et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013
Received: 22 August 2013
Accepted: 4 October 2013
Published: 14 October 2013
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Rad59 is required for multiple homologous recombination mechanisms and viability in DNA replication-defective rad27 mutant cells. Recently, four rad59 missense alleles were found to have distinct effects on homologous recombination that are consistent with separation-of-function mutations. The rad59-K166A allele alters an amino acid in a conserved α-helical domain, and, like the rad59 null allele diminishes association of Rad52 with double-strand breaks. The rad59-K174A and rad59-F180A alleles alter amino acids in the same domain and have genetically similar effects on homologous recombination. The rad59-Y92A allele alters a conserved amino acid in a separate domain, has genetically distinct effects on homologous recombination, and does not diminish association of Rad52 with double-strand breaks.
In this study, rad59 mutant strains were crossed with a rad27 null mutant to examine the effects of the rad59 alleles on the link between viability, growth and the stimulation of homologous recombination in replication-defective cells. Like the rad59 null allele, rad59-K166A was synthetically lethal in combination with rad27. The rad59-K174A and rad59-F180A alleles were not synthetically lethal in combination with rad27, had effects on growth that coincided with decreased ectopic gene conversion, but did not affect mutation, unequal sister-chromatid recombination, or loss of heterozygosity. The rad59-Y92A allele was not synthetically lethal when combined with rad27, stimulated ectopic gene conversion and heteroallelic recombination independently from rad27, and was mutually epistatic with srs2. Unlike rad27, the stimulatory effect of rad59-Y92A on homologous recombination was not accompanied by effects on growth rate, cell cycle distribution, mutation, unequal sister-chromatid recombination, or loss of heterozygosity.
The synthetic lethality conferred by rad59 null and rad59-K166A alleles correlates with their inhibitory effect on association of Rad52 with double-strand breaks, suggesting that this may be essential for rescuing replication lesions in rad27 mutant cells. The rad59-K174A and rad59-F180A alleles may fractionally reduce this same function, which proportionally reduced repair of replication lesions by homologous recombination and growth rate. In contrast, rad59-Y92A stimulates homologous recombination, perhaps by affecting association of replication lesions with the Rad51 recombinase. This suggests that Rad59 influences the rescue of replication lesions by multiple recombination factors.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, defective DNA replication stimulates homologous recombination (HR), suggesting that the lesions that accumulate following replication failure are substrates for HR [1–11]. Rad27 is a structure-specific endonuclease  required for completion of lagging strand synthesis , and has also been implicated in base excision repair , and double-strand break repair by non-homologous end joining . Loss of Rad27 leads to accumulation of single-stranded gaps or nicks on daughter DNA strands [2, 16]. Collision of replication forks with these lesions results in fork collapse and generation of double-strand breaks (DSB) [8, 17] that can stimulate HR. Importantly, concomitant loss of Rad27 and components of the HR apparatus leads to synthetic lethality [18–20]. These observations implicate HR in repair of DSBs that accumulate in the absence of Rad27. Failure to repair DSBs leads to chromosome loss  that is greatly stimulated in rad27 null mutant cells , suggesting that the essential role for the HR apparatus in rad27 mutants may be prevention of lethal levels of chromosome loss.
RAD59 encodes a protein that augments the ability of Rad52, the central HR protein in yeast [22, 23], to anneal complementary DNA strands in vitro , and both are required for viability in rad27 null mutant cells [19, 20]. RAD59 and RAD52 are also required to repair DSBs by single-strand annealing (SSA) [21, 25–28], and HR between inverted repeats by an annealing-dependent template switch at stalled replication forks [29–31]. Since RAD59 exerts much of its effect on HR with RAD52 [21, 32, 33], the function of RAD59 required in the absence of RAD27 may be in collaboration with RAD52.
The purpose of the current study was to explore the function of RAD59 required for the viability of rad27 null mutant cells. We investigated how four rad59 mutations previously characterized with respect to their effects on SSA [21, 27], affected survivorship when combined with a rad27 null mutation. We found that rad59-K166A, which alters an amino acid in a conserved, putative α-helical domain [27, 34, 35], was synthetically lethal in combination with rad27. Because rad59-K166A diminishes association of Rad52 with DSBs , this may be a function required for the viability of rad27 null mutant cells. The rad59-K174A and rad59-F180A mutations, which alter amino acids in the same α-helical domain, and have genetically similar effects on SSA , were not synthetically lethal with rad27, but resulted in distinct effects on growth that correlated with their degree of inhibition of HR. This strongly implicates RAD59-dependent HR as a requirement for viability in rad27 null mutant cells. The rad59-Y92A mutation, which alters an amino acid in a separate, conserved loop domain and confers genetically distinct effects on SSA [27, 34] was not synthetically lethal with rad27, and had a stimulatory effect on HR. This effect was genetically equivalent to that of a null allele of SRS2, which encodes a helicase that disassembles Rad51-DNA filaments [36, 37], suggesting that Rad59 may affect association of Rad51 with replication lesions. The distinct effects of the rad59 alleles suggest that Rad59 possesses multiple, discrete roles in responding to the consequences of dysfunctional replication.
The rad59mutant alleles display distinct effects on survival and growth in cells defective for lagging strand synthesis
Doubling times in wild-type and mutant haploid cells
Doubling time (min)
95% confidence interval
The rad59-Y92A allele alters a conserved amino acid in another region of extensive conservation with Rad52 (Additional file 1: Figure S1) [27, 34], and was observed to yield viable spores upon segregation with rad27::LEU2 (Figure 1). While the colonies derived from the rad27::LEU2 rad59-Y92A double mutant spores sometimes appeared smaller than the rad27::LEU2 single mutant colonies on dissection plates, neither the doubling times (p = 0.707) (Table 1; Additional file 1: Table S2), nor the ratios of G1 to S + G2/M cells (p = 0.60) (Figure 2, Additional file 1: Table S2) were significantly different for the rad27::LEU2 single and rad27::LEU2 rad59-Y92A double mutant strains. This suggests that germination of rad27::LEU2 rad59-Y92A double mutant spores may sometimes take longer than rad27::LEU2 single mutant spores. We did not observe significant effects of the tested rad59 missense alleles on doubling time (p > 0.15) (Table 1; Additional file 1: Table S2), or cell cycle distribution (p > 0.50) (Figure 2; Additional file 1: Table S2) in cells that possessed a wild-type RAD27 gene. Since all four rad59 missense mutations support steady-state levels of Rad59 that are comparable to wild-type , their effects on viability and growth when combined with rad27::LEU2 cannot be attributed to changes in the level of Rad59 in the cell. Altogether, these observations suggest that RAD59 plays a critical role in determining the growth characteristics of cells defective for lagging strand synthesis.
The rad59 alleles affect a RAD51-dependent mechanism for repairing replication lesions
The robust stimulatory effect of the loss of the RAD27 gene on ectopic gene conversion suggested that it could be used for examining the relationship between HR, and growth in the viable rad27 rad59 double mutants. As observed previously , the rad59::LEU2 mutation conferred a statistically significant 2.7-fold reduction in the rate of ectopic gene conversion (Figure 3B; Additional file 1: Table S2), confirming that RAD59 plays a role in spontaneous HR between unlinked repeats. While neither the rad59-K174A nor rad59-F180A mutations had significant effects on their own, they led to significant, 3.1- and 9.3-fold reductions in the stimulatory effect of the rad27::LEU2 allele in the rad27::LEU2 rad59-K174A and rad27::LEU2 rad59-F180A double mutants (Figure 3C; Additional file 1: Table S2), suggesting that they confer defects in the utilization of replication lesions by HR.
In contrast to the rad59-K174A and rad59-F180A mutations, the rad59-Y92A mutation caused an 86-fold increased rate of spontaneous ectopic gene conversion (Figure 3B; Additional file 1: Table S2), and, when combined with the rad27::LEU2 mutation, stimulated the rate of ectopic gene conversion by a statistically significant 7.7-fold over that observed in the rad27::LEU2 single mutant (Figure 3B and C; Additional file 1: Table S2). The synergistically increased rate of ectopic gene conversion in the rad27::LEU2 rad59-Y92A double mutant is consistent with rad59-Y92A stimulating HR by a mechanism distinct from the accumulation of replication lesions that results from loss of RAD27.
The hyper-rec effects of the rad59-Y92A and srs2::TRP1alleles are genetically equivalent
Previous work indicating that rad59-Y92A decreases spontaneous RAD51-independent HR between directly repeated sequences  suggests that the stimulation of ectopic gene conversion is not due to accumulation of recombinogenic lesions. Ectopic gene conversion requires Rad51 to work after lesion formation to catalyze the strand invasion that begins the interaction between unlinked sequences that will repair the lesion [40, 42]. If stimulation of HR by rad59-Y92A is the result of changes subsequent to Rad51-DNA filament formation, loss of RAD51 should abolish the stimulatory effect. The rate of ectopic gene conversion in the rad51::LEU2 rad59-Y92A double mutant was reduced 50-fold from wild-type, which was nearly identical to the rate in rad51::LEU2 single mutant cells (Figure 3D; Additional file 1: Table S2). Therefore, stimulation by rad59-Y92A requires formation of Rad51-DNA filaments.
Like the rad59-Y92A mutation, a null allele of the SRS2 gene, which encodes a DNA helicase  that facilitates the disassembly of Rad51-DNA filaments [36, 37], has been shown to stimulate spontaneous gene conversion between non-allelic sequences [44, 45]. Consistent with this, we observed a 31-fold increased rate of spontaneous ectopic gene conversion in an srs2::TRP1 mutant (Figure 3D; Additional file 1: Table S2). As the effects of srs2::TRP1 and rad59-Y92A were similar we examined ectopic gene conversion in the srs2 rad59-Y92A double mutant and observed a 38-fold increase over wild-type that was not significantly different from the rates in the srs2::TRP1 or rad59-Y92A single mutants (Figure 3B and 3D; Additional file 1: Table S2). This indicates that rad59-Y92A and srs2::TRP1 are mutually epistatic.
rad59-Y92A is a dominant mutation that stimulates RAD51-dependent HR between homologs
Similar to its effect on ectopic gene conversion, we observed that rad59-Y92A increased the rate of heteroallelic recombination by 19-fold (Figure 4B; Additional file 1: Table S2). Interestingly, the effect of rad59-Y92A was dominant with respect to RAD59, as the rate in the RAD59/rad59-Y92A heterozygote was not significantly different from that in the rad59-Y92A/rad59-Y92A homozygote. Like with ectopic gene conversion, combining the rad27::LEU2 and rad59-Y92A alleles in the rad27/rad27 rad59-Y92A/rad59-Y92A double homozygote had a synergistic effect on heteroallelic recombination, increasing the rate 25-fold over that observed in the rad27::LEU2/rad27::LEU2 homozygote. This astonishing, 59,000-fold increased rate of heteroallelic recombination corresponds to a median frequency of recombination where 85% of the surviving colonies are recombinants.
The rad59alleles do not affect a variety of genome destabilizing processes stimulated by the accumulation of replication lesions
Rates of mutation and unequal sister chromatid recombination in wild-type and mutant haploid strains
Mutation rate (10-7)
USCR rate (10-6)
4.0 (3.8, 7.4) 
1.0 (0.8, 1.2) 
1.4 (1.0, 1.8) [+1.4]
7.5 (6.6, 8.6) [+1.9]
0.82 (0.43, 1.4) [-1.3]
4.4 (3.9, 5.3) [+1.1]
1.3 (1.1, 1.8) [+1.3]
3.2 (1.8, 5.5) [-1.3]
1.1 (0.85, 2.1) [+1.1]
4.8 (4, 6.9) [+1.2]
0.61 (0.47, 0.95) [-1.6]
200 (90, 590) [+50]
47 (39, 100) [+47]
220 (60, 510) [+55]
39 (25, 99) [+39]
130 (110, 190) [+32.5]
38 (33, 53) [+38]
190 (110, 500) [+47.5]
60 (49, 120) [+60]
Loss of RAD27 has been previously observed to strongly stimulate unequal sister chromatid recombination (USCR) (Additional file 1: Figure S2) [8, 50]. We observed a 47-fold increased rate of USCR in rad27::LEU2 cells (Table 2; Additional file 1: Table S2), confirming the previous results, while loss of RAD51 had no significant effect. The rad59::LEU2, rad59-Y92A, rad59-K174A, and rad59-F180A alleles did not have significant effects on the rate of USCR, nor did the missense mutations have effects in combination with rad27::LEU2, suggesting that RAD59 does not influence this mechanism of genome rearrangement.
Rates of loss of heterozygosity in wild-type and mutant diploid strains
ILOH rate (10-5)
TLOH rate (10-4)
CL rate (10-5)
2.5 (2.1, 3.1) 
0.92 (0.62, 1.2) 
3.0 (2.5, 3.9) 
1.2 (0.92, 2.5) [−2]
1.3 (0.38, 2) [+1.4]
54 (19, 64) [+18]
1.8 (1.2, 2.9) [−1.4]
1.4 (1.1, 1.9) [+1.5]
6.2 (5.8, 10.2) [+2]
3.2 (2.7, 4.8) [+1.3]
0.95 (0.83, 1.5) 
2.5 (2.0, 3.6) [−1.2]
2.0 (1.3, 3.5) [−1.3]
0.76 (0.40, 1.1) [−1.2]
5.6 (2.9, 8.4) [+1.9]
3.8 (3.1, 5.1) [+1.5]
0.82 (0.63, 1.7) [−1.1]
3.0 (1.5, 7.9) 
28 (25, 64) [+11]
34 (24, 47) [+37]
38 (29, 54) [+13]
28 (13, 56) [+11]
36 (17, 50) [+39]
29 (23, 74) [+9.7]
26 (22, 55) [+10]
33 (24, 39) [+36]
32 (18, 48) [+11]
52 (29, 76) [+21]
35 (22, 57) [+38]
57 (18,124) [+19]
As observed above for mutation and USCR (Table 2; Additional file 1: Table S2), the rad59-Y92A, rad59-K174A, and rad59-F180A alleles had no significant effect on the rates of interstitial LOH, terminal LOH, and chromosome loss in the rad59/rad59 single mutants, or in the double mutant combinations with the rad27::LEU2 allele (Table 3; Additional file 1: Table S2). Similarly, rad59::LEU2 had no significant effect on the rates of interstitial LOH and terminal LOH, but conferred a small (two-fold), statistically significant increase in chromosome loss. These data suggest that RAD59 has little influence on these mechanisms of LOH.
We have explored the role of RAD59 in mediating responses to DNA lesions that accumulate in rad27::LEU2 mutant cells, and found that it supports multiple, genetically separable functions. Like the rad59::LEU2 allele, we found that the rad59-K166A allele, which alters a lysine in a conserved, putative α-helical domain (Additional file 1: Figure S1B) [27, 34, 35], results in synthetic lethality when combined with the rad27::LEU2 allele (Figure 1). In previous experiments, we found that rad27::LEU2 mutant cells display a profusion of DSBs . As both rad59::LEU2 and rad59-K166A substantially reduce association of Rad52 with DSBs , we speculate that a critical reduction in the association of Rad52 with the many DSBs in rad27::LEU2 rad59::LEU2 and rad27::LEU2 rad59-K166A double mutants may inhibit their rescue by HR, and results in a lethal level of chromosome loss. The rad59-F180A and rad59-K174A alleles, which change conserved residues in the same α-helical domain altered by rad59-K166A, may have incrementally less severe effects on association of Rad52 with DSBs. This may result in their serially reduced inhibition of repair of replication-induced DSBs by HR (Figure 3C; Additional file 1: Table S2) and commensurate effects on growth (Table 1; Additional file 1: Table S2) when combined with rad27. An accumulation of rad27::LEU2 rad59-F180A double mutant cells in the G2 phase of the cell cycle, as compared to rad27::LEU2 single mutant or rad27::LEU2 rad59-K174A double mutant cells is consistent with more deficient repair of replication-induced DSBs by HR (Figure 3). This further supports the notion that RAD59 promotes the survival of rad27::LEU2 mutant cells by facilitating the rescue of replication lesions by HR. Recently, RAD59 has been shown to be required for the viability of DNA ligase I-deficient mutants, verifying the requirement for this factor in accommodating to incomplete DNA replication .
In striking contrast to the other rad59 alleles, rad59-Y92A stimulated HR (Figure 3B; Figure 4B). This hyper-recombinogenic effect was distinct from that caused by rad27 as it was not accompanied by significant effects on doubling time (Table 1), cell cycle profile (Figure 2), mutation (Table 2), unequal sister chromatid exchange, or LOH (Table 3), suggesting that rad59-Y92A does not cause an accumulation of replication lesions. The observation that the stimulatory effect of rad59-Y92A was completely suppressed by a null allele of RAD51, and was mutually epistatic with a null allele of SRS2 (Figure 3D), suggests that rad59-Y92A may increase HR by increasing the stability of Rad51-DNA filaments, perhaps by changing its interaction with Rad51 (24). An increase in DSBs combined with an increase in the stability of Rad51 filaments at the DSBs may underlay the synergistically increased rates of HR observed in rad27 rad59-Y92A double mutants (Figures 3C and 4B). However, since Rad59 also interacts with RPA  and RSC , the increase in HR observed in rad59-Y92A mutant cells may also involve changes in additional processes.
RAD59 encodes one of several homologous recombination (HR) factors required for viability of budding yeast cells lacking the DNA replication factor, Rad27. This demonstrates that the HR apparatus is required to prevent the lethal effects of dysfunctional replication, but no link between a specific HR mechanism and survival has been previously established. In this analysis, we show that two rad59 alleles that diminish association of Rad52 with double-strand breaks are synthetically lethal with rad27, while two others coordinately reduce RAD51-dependent HR and growth, thus linking RAD51-dependent repair with survival. Another allele stimulates HR by stabilizing Rad51-DNA filaments. Therefore, Rad59 influences the repair of replication lesions by HR through its interactions with multiple HR factors. We speculate that the massive increase in replication failure genome-wide that results from loss of Rad27 may be similar to that caused by chemotherapeutic agents in human cells, potentially explaining why the HR apparatus is critical in determining sensitivity to these drugs.
All strains used in this study were isogenic and are listed in Additional file 1: Table S1. Standard techniques for yeast strain construction and growth were used . Construction of the rad27::LEU2, rad51::LEU2, rad59::LEU2, rad59-Y92A, rad59-K166A, rad59-K174A, rad59-F180A and srs2::TRP1 alleles have been described previously [27, 58–60]. The rad27::LEU2 allele can be followed in crosses by PCR, using the forward primer 5′-GCG TTG ACA GCA TAC ATT-3′, and reverse primer 5′-CGT ACA AAC CAA ATG CGG-3′. The rad59::LEU2 allele is followed by PCR using the forward primer 5′-GCC ACA GTT TGG CAA GGG-3′, and the reverse primer 5′-GGG TTT GTT GCC ATC TGC G-3′. The rad59 missense alleles were followed in crosses by allele-specific PCR . Unique forward primers were used to detect rad59-Y92A (5′-GCT AAT GAA ACA TTC GGG GC-3′), rad59-K166A (5′-AAT GTT ATA ACA GGT CGA AAG C-3′), rad59-K174A (5′-AAG GGT TAC GTA GAG GAG AAG-3′), and rad59-F180A (5′-AAG AAG GCG TTA TTG AGC GC-3′). All allele-specific PCRs use the same reverse primer (5′-TAT ATA AGT ACG TGA GAT CTA TTT G-3′). Presence of the rad59-K174A allele is scored by digesting the PCR product with MseI restriction endonuclease. DNA was purified for PCR analysis using a standard method .
Diploid yeast strains heterozygous for each of the rad59 alleles (rad59/RAD59) and the rad27::LEU2 allele (rad27::LEU2/RAD27) were sporulated and dissected. After 72 h, five representative tetrads from each diploid were selected. The presence of rad27 and rad59 mutant alleles in each of the colonies that arose from the spores was scored using PCR as described above.
At least 10, five-milliliter YPD (1% yeast extract, 2% peptone, 2% dextrose) cultures were inoculated with colonies arising from the spores of freshly dissected tetrads and grown overnight at 30°. These were sub-cultured into Klett tubes containing five milliliters of YPD medium that were incubated at 30° while shaking. Cell density was measured by monitoring culture turbidity with a Klett-Summerson colorimeter each hour over a 10 h period. Doubling times were calculated using a standard algorithm . The 95% confidence intervals and Mann–Whitney values were determined using the Prism statistics package (GraphPad, La Jolla, CA).
At least five, five-milliliter YPD cultures were inoculated with colonies arising from freshly dissected tetrads and grown overnight at 30°. Overnight cultures were sub-cultured into five milliliters of YPD medium and grown to mid-log phase at 30° defined by growth curve using a Klett-Summerson colorimeter. Cells were processed for flow cytometry using the following adaptation of a published method . The cell density was determined by hemacytometer count and aliquots containing 107 cells were pelleted, resuspended in 70% ice-cold ethanol, and fixed while rotating at 4° overnight. Fixed cells were pelleted, resuspended in 1 ml of citrate buffer (50 mM Na citrate, pH 7.2), and sonicated (Misonix 3000, Farmingdale, NY). Sonicated cells were pelleted, resuspended in citrate buffer and treated with 25 μl of 10 mg/ml RNase A, at 50° for one h, followed by treatment with 50 μl of 20 mg/ml Proteinase K and incubation at 50° for one h. Cells were pelleted and resuspended in 1 ml of citrate buffer, and either rotated overnight at 4°, or stained immediately by adding 16 μl of 1 mg/ml propidium iodide and rotating for 45 min at room temperature in the dark before processing by flow cytometry (Beckman Coulter CyAn ADP 9color, Miami FL). Fractions of cells in the G1, S and G2/M phases of the cell cycle were determined using FlowJo v.7.6.5 image processing software (Tree Star, Ashland, OR). The ratio of cells in G1 vs. S + G2/M were calculated for each trial and the median value for each strain used for comparing cell cycle distributions in different strains. The Mann–Whitney test was used to assess the statistical significance of differences between strains.
Spontaneous ectopic gene conversion
Spontaneous ectopic gene conversion in haploid strains was assayed as described previously , but using substrates described in a separate analysis . All strains contained the sam1-ΔBgl II-HOcs allele at the SAM1 locus on chromosome XII, the sam1-ΔSal I allele adjacent to the HIS3 locus on chromosome XV, and a HIS3 gene replacing the SAM2 coding sequence at the SAM2 locus (sam2::HIS3) on chromosome IV. The sam1-∆Bgl II-HOcs allele has a 117 bp fragment of the MAT locus disrupting the Bgl II site in the SAM1 coding sequence, while the sam1-ΔSal I allele has a 4 bp insertion at the Sal I site . The sam1-ΔSal I allele lacks a promoter, preventing conversion events at this locus from generating AdoMet+ recombinants. The sam1-∆Bgl II-HOcs and sam1-ΔSal I alleles are also in opposite orientations relative to their centromeres, preventing the isolation of single crossover recombinants.
At least ten freshly dissected haploid segregants of each strain were inoculated into five-milliliter YPD cultures supplemented with 100 μg/ml of S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) and grown to saturation at 30°. Appropriate dilutions of each culture were plated onto YPD + AdoMet plates to determine the number of viable cells, and onto YPD plates lacking AdoMet to determine the number of AdoMet prototrophic recombinants.
Spontaneous hetero-allelic recombination
Rates of spontaneous hetero-allelic recombination were determined as for ectopic gene conversion except that different substrates were used in diploid cells. All strains contained the sam2-ΔEcoR V-HOcs allele at the SAM2 locus on one copy of chromosome IV, the sam2-ΔSal I allele on the other, and a LEU2 marker replacing the SAM1 coding sequence at the SAM1 locus on both copies of chromosome XII. The sam2-ΔEcoR V-HOcs allele has a 117 bp fragment of the MAT locus disrupting the EcoR V site, while the sam2-ΔSal I allele has a 4 bp insertion disrupting the Sal I site .
Rates of mutation at the CAN1 locus were examined using a previously published assay [8, 10, 18]. At least ten freshly dissected segregants were used to inoculate one-milliliter YPD cultures that were grown to saturation at 30°. Appropriate dilutions were plated onto YPD to determine viability and synthetic medium lacking arginine but containing 60 μg/ml of canavanine to select for mutants.
Unequal sister chromatid recombination (USCR)
Rates of USCR were determined using a previously published assay [8, 10, 67]. At least ten freshly dissected segregants containing the USCE construct at the TRP1 locus on chromosome IV and the his3∆200 allele at the HIS3 locus on chromosome XV, were struck out to single colonies on YPD. After three days of growth at 30°, single colonies were used to inoculate one-milliliter YPD cultures, and grown to saturation at 30°. Appropriate dilutions were plated onto YPD to assess viability and onto medium lacking histidine to determine the number of histidine prototrophic recombinants.
Loss of heterozygosity (LOH)
Rates of spontaneous LOH by three different mechanisms were assessed using a previously published assay . Freshly dissected haploid segregants containing either the hxt13::URA3, CAN1, and HOM3 alleles, or the HXT13, can1-100, and hom3-10 alleles on chromosome V were crossed and the resulting diploids struck out to single colonies on YPD. At least 12 independent colonies were inoculated into one-milliliter YPD liquid cultures and grown to saturation at 30°. Appropriate dilutions were plated onto YPD for viability and synthetic medium lacking arginine, but containing 60 μg/ml of canavanine to select for clones resistant to canavanine. After three days of growth at 30° canavanine-resistant (CanR) colonies were replica plated onto synthetic medium lacking either uracil or threonine to assay for the presence of the hxt13::URA3 (Ura+) and HOM3 (Thr+) alleles, respectively. Rates of interstitial LOH, terminal LOH, and CL were determined from the number of Ura+CanRThr+, Ura-CanRThr+, and Ura-CanRThr- recombinant colonies, respectively.
Modeling the Rad59 protein
The crystal structure of the N-terminus of human Rad52  was obtained from the RSCB Protein Data Bank (http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/). This structure was imaged using the molecular modeling program, SYBYL, and the amino acids corresponding to those mutated in the rad59 missense alleles were identified, and highlighted.
Availability of supporting data
The data sets supporting the results of this article are included within the article and in Additional file 1.
We thank M. Boldin, M. Kalkum, R.-J. Lin, T. O’Connor, and J. Stark for stimulating discussions, and N. Pannunzio for comments on the manuscript. We would like to acknowledge the City of Hope Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, and Flow Cytometry Core Facilities for their assistance. This work was supported by a Morgan and Helen Chu graduate student fellowship to L.C.L, a summer undergraduate research fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to S.N.O, a summer student fellowship from the Eugene and Ruth Roberts Summer Academy to B.X.H.F., and funds from the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope.
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