High prevalence of PRDM9-independent recombination hotspots in placental mammals - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Year : 2024

High prevalence of PRDM9-independent recombination hotspots in placental mammals

Abstract

In many mammals, recombination events are concentrated in hotspots directed by a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein named PRDM9. Intriguingly, PRDM9 has been lost several times in vertebrates, and notably among mammals, it has been pseudogenized in the ancestor of canids. In the absence of PRDM9, recombination hotspots tend to occur in promoter-like features such as CpG islands. It has thus been proposed that one role of PRDM9 could be to direct recombination away from PRDM9-independent hotspots. However, the ability of PRDM9 to direct recombination hotspots has been assessed in only a handful of species, and a clear picture of how much recombination occurs outside of PRDM9-directed hotspots in mammals is still lacking. In this study, we derived an estimator of past recombination activity based on signatures of GC-biased gene conversion in substitution patterns. We quantified recombination activity in PRDM9-independent hotspots in 52 species of boreoeutherian mammals. We observe a wide range of recombination rates at these loci: several species (such as mice, humans, some felids, or cetaceans) show a deficit of recombination, while a majority of mammals display a clear peak of recombination. Our results demonstrate that PRDM9-directed and PRDM9-independent hotspots can coexist in mammals and that their coexistence appears to be the rule rather than the exception. Additionally, we show that the location of PRDM9-independent hotspots is relatively more stable than that of PRDM9-directed hotspots, but that PRDM9-independent hotspots nevertheless evolve slowly in concert with DNA hypomethylation.
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Dates and versions

hal-04604269 , version 1 (07-06-2024)

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Julien Joseph, Djivan Prentout, Alexandre Laverré, Théo Tricou, Laurent Duret. High prevalence of PRDM9-independent recombination hotspots in placental mammals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2024, 121 (23), pp.e2401973121. ⟨10.1073/pnas.2401973121⟩. ⟨hal-04604269⟩
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