The Mre11/Rad50/Xrs2 (MRX) complex is involved in DNA damage repair, DNA damage response, telomere control, and meiotic recombination. Here, we constructed and characterized novel mutant alleles of XRS2. The alleles with mutations in the C-terminal conserved domain of Xrs2 were grouped into the same class. Mutant Xrs2 in this class lacked Mre11 interaction ability. The second class, lacking a C-terminal end, showed defects only in telomere control. A previous study showed that this C-terminal end contains a Tel1-association domain. These results indicate that Xrs2 contains two functional domains, Mre11- and Tel1-binding domains. While the Mre11-binding domain is essential for Xrs2 function, the Tel1-binding domain maybe essential only for Tel1 function in telomere maintenance. The third class, despite containing a large deletion in the N-terminal region, showed no defects in DNA damage repair. However, some mutants, which showed a reduced level of Xrs2 protein, were partially defective in formation of meiotic DSBs and telomere maintenance. These defects were suppressed by overexpression of the mutant Xrs2 protein. This result suggests that the total amount of Xrs2 protein is a critical determinant for the function of the MRX complex especially with regard to telomere maintenance and meiotic DSB formation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas