Effect of DNA sequence divergence on homologous recombination as analyzed by a random-walk model

Youhei Fujitani, Ichizo Kobayashi

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19 Citations (Scopus)


A point connecting a pair of homologous regions of DNA duplexes moves along the homology in a reaction intermediate of the homologous recombination. Formulating this movement as a random walk, we were previously successful at explaining the dependence of the recombination frequency on the homology length. Recently, the dependence of the recombination frequency on the DNA sequence divergence in the homologous region was investigated experimentally; if the methyl-directed mismatch repair (MMR) system is active, the logarithm of the recombination frequency decreases very rapidly with an increase of the divergence in a low-divergence regime. Beyond this regime, the logarithm decreases slowly and linearly with the divergence. This 'very rapid drop-off' is not observed when the MMR system is defective. In this article, we show that our random-walk model can explain these data in a straightforward way. When a connecting point encounters a diverged base pair, it is assumed to be destroyed with a probability that depends on the level of MMR activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1973-1988
Number of pages16
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Dec 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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