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DNA Recombination-Initiation Plays A Role In The Extremely Biased Inheritance Of Yeast [rho−] Mitochondrial DNA That Contains The Replication Origin Ori5

Feng Ling, Akiko Hori, Takehiko Shibata

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ABSTRACT Hypersuppressiveness, as observed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is an extremely biased inheritance of a small mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) fragment that contains a replication origin (HS [rho ] mtDNA). Our previous studies showed that concatemers (linear head-to-tail multimers) are obligatory intermediates for mtDNA partitioning and are primarily formed by rolling-circle replication mediated by Mhr1, a protein required for homologous mtDNA recombination. In this study, we found that Mhr1 is required for the hypersuppressiveness of HS [ori5] [rho ] mtDNA harboring ori5, one of the replication origins of normal ([rho +]) mtDNA. In addition, we detected an Ntg1-stimulated double-strand break at the ori5 locus. Purified Ntg1, a base excision repair enzyme, introduced a double-stranded break by itself into HS [ori5] [rho ] mtDNA at ori5 isolated from yeast cells. Both hypersuppressiveness and concatemer formation of HS [ori5] [rho ] mtDNA are simultaneously suppressed by the ntg1 null mutation. These results support a model in which, like homologous recombination, rolling-circle HS [ori5] [rho ] mtDNA replication is initiated by double-stranded breakage in ori5, followed by Mhr1-mediated homologous pairing of the processed nascent DNA ends with circular mtDNA. The hypersuppressiveness of HS [ori5] [rho ] mtDNA depends on a replication advantage furnished by the higher density of ori5 sequences and on a segregation advantage furnished by the higher genome copy number on transmitted concatemers.