DNA mismatch repair (MMR) increases replication fidelity by eliminating mispaired bases resulting from replication errors. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, mispairs are primarily detected by the Msh2-Msh6 complex and corrected following recruitment of the Mlh1-Pms1 complex. Here, we visualized functional fluorescent versions of Msh2-Msh6 and Mlh1-Pms1 in living cells. We found that the Msh2-Msh6 complex is an S phase component of replication centers independent of mispaired bases; this localized pool accounted for 10%-15% of MMR in wild-type cells but was essential for MMR in the absence of Exo1. Unexpectedly, Mlh1-Pms1 formed nuclear foci that, although dependent on Msh2-Msh6 for formation, rarely colocalized with Msh2-Msh6 replication-associated foci. Mlh1-Pms1 foci increased when the number of mispaired bases was increased; in contrast, Msh2-Msh6 foci were unaffected. These findings suggest the presence of replication machinery-coupled and -independent pathways for mispair recognition by Msh2-Msh6, which direct formation of superstoichiometric Mlh1-Pms1 foci that represent sites of active MMR.
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