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    1. Chromosomes and Gene Expression
    2. Genetics and Genomics
    Nicolas Altemose, Nudrat Noor ... Simon R Myers
    Research Article Updated

    PRDM9 binding localizes almost all meiotic recombination sites in humans and mice. However, most PRDM9-bound loci do not become recombination hotspots. To explore factors that affect binding and subsequent recombination outcomes, we mapped human PRDM9 binding sites in a transfected human cell line and measured PRDM9-induced histone modifications. These data reveal varied DNA-binding modalities of PRDM9. We also find that human PRDM9 frequently binds promoters, despite their low recombination rates, and it can activate expression of a small number of genes including CTCFL and VCX. Furthermore, we identify specific sequence motifs that predict consistent, localized meiotic recombination suppression around a subset of PRDM9 binding sites. These motifs strongly associate with KRAB-ZNF protein binding, TRIM28 recruitment, and specific histone modifications. Finally, we demonstrate that, in addition to binding DNA, PRDM9's zinc fingers also mediate its multimerization, and we show that a pair of highly diverged alleles preferentially form homo-multimers.

    1. Genetics and Genomics
    Zachary Baker, Molly Schumer ... Molly Przeworski
    Research Article Updated

    Studies of highly diverged species have revealed two mechanisms by which meiotic recombination is directed to the genome—through PRDM9 binding or by targeting promoter-like features—that lead to dramatically different evolutionary dynamics of hotspots. Here, we identify PRDM9 orthologs from genome and transcriptome data in 225 species. We find the complete PRDM9 ortholog across distantly related vertebrates but, despite this broad conservation, infer a minimum of six partial and three complete losses. Strikingly, taxa carrying the complete ortholog of PRDM9 are precisely those with rapid evolution of its predicted binding affinity, suggesting that all domains are necessary for directing recombination. Indeed, as we show, swordtail fish carrying only a partial but conserved ortholog share recombination properties with PRDM9 knock-outs.

    1. Genetics and Genomics
    Mathilde Biot, Bernard de Massy

    Three independent studies show that a protein called ZCWPW1 is able to recognize the histone modifications that initiate the recombination of genetic information during meiosis.