Overlapping contributions of Msh1p and putative recombination proteins Cce1p, Din7p, and Mhr1p in large-scale recombination and genome sorting events in the mitochondrial genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
The mechanisms that govern mutation avoidance in the mitochondrial genome, though believed to be numerous, are poorly understood. The identification of individual genes has implicated mismatch repair and several recombination pathways in maintaining the fidelity and structural stability of mitochondrial DNA. However, the majority of genes in these pathways have not been identified and the interactions between different pathways have not been extensively studied. Additionally, the multicopy presence of the mitochondrial genome affects the occurrence and persistence of mutant phenotypes, making mitochondrial DNA transmission and sorting important factors affecting mutation accumulation. We present new evidence that the putative recombination genes CCE1, DIN7, and MHR1 have overlapping function with the mismatch repair homolog MSH1 in point mutation avoidance and suppression of aberrant recombination events. In addition, we demonstrate a novel role for Msh1p in mtDNA transmission, a role not predicted by studies of its nuclear homologs.