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The double Holliday junction (dHJ) is generally regarded to be a key intermediate of meiotic recombination, whose resolution is critical for the formation of crossover recombinants. In fission yeast, the Mus81-Eme1 endonuclease has been implicated in resolving dHJs. Consistent with this role, we show that Mus81-Eme1 is required for generating meiotic crossovers. However, purified Mus81-Eme1 prefers to cleave junctions that mimic those formed during the transition from double-strand break to dHJ. Crucially, these junctions are cleaved by Mus81-Eme1 in precisely the right orientation to guarantee the formation of a crossover every time. These data demonstrate how crossovers could arise without forming or resolving dHJs using an enzyme that is widely conserved amongst eukaryotes.


Journal article


Mol Cell

Publication Date





761 - 774


Crossing Over, Genetic, DNA, DNA-Binding Proteins, Endonucleases, Meiosis, Nucleic Acid Conformation, Recombination, Genetic, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins, Schizosaccharomyces, Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins