- Homologous recombination (HR) is a universally conserved DNA repair pathway that can result in the exchange of genetic material. In eukaryotes, HR has evolved into an essential step in meiosis. During meiosis many eukaryotes utilize a two-recombinase pathway. This system consists of Rad51 and the meiosis-specific recombinase Dmc1. Both recombinases have distinct activities during meiotic HR, despite being highly similar in sequence and having closely related biochemical activities, raising the question of how these two proteins can perform separate functions.
- During meiosis, the two DNA recombinases Rad51 and Dmc1 form specialized presynaptic filaments that are adapted for performing recombination between homologous chromosomes. There is currently a limited understanding of how these two recombinases are organized within the meiotic presynaptic filament. Here, we used single molecule imaging to examine the properties of presynaptic complexes composed of both Rad51 and Dmc1. We demonstrate that Rad51 and Dmc1 have an intrinsic ability to self-segregate, even in the absence of any other recombination accessory proteins.