Meiotic double-strand breaks (DSBs) are formed by Spo11 in conjunction with at least nine other proteins whose roles are not well understood. We find that two of these proteins, Rec102 and Rec104, interact physically, are mutually dependent for proper subcellular localization, and share a requirement for Spo11 and Ski8 for their recruitment to meiotic chromosomes, suggesting that they work together as a functional unit. Rec102 associated extensively with chromatin loops during leptotene and zygotene and showed preferential binding in the vicinity at least of most DSB sites, consistent with a direct role in DSB formation. However, Rec102 was associated with both DSB-hot and DSB-cold regions, ruling out a simple model in which sites of DSB formation are dictated by where Rec102/104 complexes load. Both proteins persisted on chromatin until pachytene before abruptly disappearing, indicating that they remain on chromosomes well after DSB formation. These studies reveal unexpected behaviors for Rec102 and Rec104, and point to distinct roles and subcomplexes among the DSB proteins.
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