Phosphoregulation of Rad51/Rad52 by CDK1 functions as a molecular switch for cell cycle–specific activation of homologous recombination

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Science Advances  07 Feb 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 6, eaay2669
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay2669


Homologous recombination is exquisitely activated only during specific cell phases. In the G1 phase, homologous recombination activity is completely suppressed. According to previous reports, the activation of homologous recombination during specific cell phases depends on the kinase activity of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1). However, the precise regulatory mechanism and target substrates of CDK1 for this regulation have not been completely determined. Here, we report that the budding yeast CDK1, Cdc28, phosphorylates the major homologous recombination regulators Rad51 and Rad52. This phosphorylation occurs in the G2/M phase by Cdc28 in combination with G2/M phase cyclins. Nonphosphorylatable mutations in Rad51 and Rad52 impair the DNA binding affinity of Rad51 and the affinity between Rad52 rings that leads to their interaction. Collectively, our data provide detailed insights into the regulatory mechanism of cell cycle–dependent homologous recombination activation in eukaryotic cells.

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