The double-strand break landscape of meiotic chromosomes is shaped by the Paf1 transcription elongation complex in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Santosh K. Gothwal, Neem J. Patel, Meaghan M. Colletti, Hiroyuki Sasanuma, Miki Shinohara, Andreas Hochwagen, Akira Shinohara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Histone modification is a critical determinant of the frequency and location of meiotic double-strand breaks (DSBs), and thus recombination. Set1-dependent histone H3K4 methylation and Dot1-dependent H3K79 methylation play important roles in this process in budding yeast. Given that the RNA polymerase II associated factor 1 complex, Paf1C, promotes both types of methylation, we addressed the role of the Paf1C component, Rtf1, in the regulation of meiotic DSB formation. Similar to a set1 mutation, disruption of RTF1 decreased the occurrence of DSBs in the genome. However, the rtf1 set1 double mutant exhibited a larger reduction in the levels of DSBs than either of the single mutants, indicating independent contributions of Rtf1 and Set1 to DSB formation. Importantly, the distribution of DSBs along chromosomes in the rtf1 mutant changed in a manner that was different from the distributions observed in both set1 and set1 dot1 mutants, including enhanced DSB formation at some DSB-cold regions that are occupied by nucleosomes in wild-type cells. These observations suggest that Rtf1, and by extension the Paf1C, modulate the genomic DSB landscape independently of H3K4 methylation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-512
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016



  • Double-strand breaks
  • H3K4 methylation
  • Meiosis
  • PAF
  • Recombination
  • Rtf1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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