SPO11/YHL022C Summary Help

Standard Name SPO11 1
Systematic Name YHL022C
Feature Type ORF, Verified
Description Meiosis-specific protein that initiates meiotic recombination; initiates meiotic recombination by catalyzing the formation of double-strand breaks in DNA via a transesterification reaction; required for homologous chromosome pairing and synaptonemal complex formation (2, 3 and see Summary Paragraph)
Name Description SPOrulation 4
Chromosomal Location
ChrVIII:64157 to 62961 | ORF Map | GBrowse
Note: this feature is encoded on the Crick strand.
Genetic position: -23 cM
Gene Ontology Annotations All SPO11 GO evidence and references
Molecular Function
Manually curated
Biological Process
Manually curated
Cellular Component
Manually curated
Regulators 2 genes
Classical genetics
reduction of function
Large-scale survey
116 total interaction(s) for 68 unique genes/features.
Physical Interactions
  • Affinity Capture-Western: 4
  • Biochemical Activity: 1
  • Co-localization: 2
  • Two-hybrid: 10

Genetic Interactions
  • Dosage Lethality: 1
  • Dosage Rescue: 3
  • Negative Genetic: 16
  • Phenotypic Enhancement: 15
  • Phenotypic Suppression: 41
  • Positive Genetic: 2
  • Synthetic Growth Defect: 5
  • Synthetic Lethality: 2
  • Synthetic Rescue: 14

Expression Summary
Length (a.a.) 398
Molecular Weight (Da) 45,412
Isoelectric Point (pI) 10
Phosphorylation PhosphoGRID | PhosphoPep Database
sequence information
ChrVIII:64157 to 62961 | ORF Map | GBrowse
Note: this feature is encoded on the Crick strand.
Genetic position: -23 cM
Last Update Coordinates: 2011-02-03 | Sequence: 1996-07-31
Subfeature details
Most Recent Updates
Coordinates Sequence
CDS 1..1197 64157..62961 2011-02-03 1996-07-31
Retrieve sequences
Analyze Sequence
S288C only
S288C vs. other species
S288C vs. other strains
External Links All Associated Seq | Entrez Gene | Entrez RefSeq Protein | MIPS | Search all NCBI (Entrez) | UniProtKB
Primary SGDIDS000001014

SPO11 encodes a meiosis-specific endonuclease that catalyzes the formation of double-strand breaks (DSBs) that are required to initiate meiotic recombination (5). Spo11p forms a dimer; each monomer breaks one strand of the DNA duplex via a transesterification reaction that forms a covalent intermediate between the catalytic tyrosine (Spo11p-Y135) and the 5' end of the DSB (2, 6). Although Spo11p contains the catalytic residue required for DSB formation, multiple other factors are required for the covalent intermediate to be removed and the DSB to be efficiently processed (7, 8, 9, 10). The Spo11p-DSB intermediate can be isolated in a non-null mutant of RAD50 known as rad50S (2). SPO11 is also required for efficient pairing of homologous chromosomes during meiosis I, but SPO11-independent pathways to chromosome pairing exist as well (11, 12, 13, 14).

Consistent with its central role in initiating meiotic recombination, spo11 mutants do not form DSBs, have decreased levels of recombination, and generate inviable spores due to aneuploidy (15, 16, 17, 12). Formation of DSBs with an exogenous factor, such as ionizing radiation, can partially rescue these phenotypes (18). SPO11 expression during early meiosis is regulated by Ume6p (19). Although Spo11p associated with chromatin throughout the genome, not all regions associated with Spo11p are cleaved to become DSBs (20, 21).

Spo11p contains a Toprim domain, which is found in topoisomerases and primases (22. In particular, Spo11p has similarity to the A subunit of topoisomerase 6 (Top6A), an archaeal type II topoisomerase (23). Spo11p is also conserved in S. pombe (rec12+), C. elegans (spo-11), D. melanogaster (mei-86), and H.sapiens (SPO11) (5 and references therein).

Last updated: 2007-07-20 Contact SGD

References cited on this page View Complete Literature Guide for SPO11
1) Klapholz, S. and Easton-Esposito, R.  (1985) Personal Communication, Mortimer Map Edition 9
2) Keeney S, et al.  (1997) Meiosis-specific DNA double-strand breaks are catalyzed by Spo11, a member of a widely conserved protein family. Cell 88(3):375-84
3) Lichten M  (2001) Meiotic recombination: breaking the genome to save it. Curr Biol 11(7):R253-6
4) Esposito MS, et al.  (1970) Conditional mutants of meiosis in yeast. J Bacteriol 104(1):202-10
5) Keeney S  (2001) Mechanism and control of meiotic recombination initiation. Curr Top Dev Biol 52():1-53
6) Neale MJ, et al.  (2005) Endonucleolytic processing of covalent protein-linked DNA double-strand breaks. Nature 436(7053):1053-7
7) Keeney S and Neale MJ  (2006) Initiation of meiotic recombination by formation of DNA double-strand breaks: mechanism and regulation. Biochem Soc Trans 34(Pt 4):523-5
8) Li J, et al.  (2006) Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mer2, Mei4 and Rec114 form a complex required for meiotic double-strand break formation. Genetics 173(4):1969-81
9) Maleki S, et al.  (2007) Interactions between Mei4, Rec114, and other proteins required for meiotic DNA double-strand break formation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Chromosoma 116(5):471-86
10) Sasanuma H, et al.  (2007) Meiotic association between Spo11 regulated by Rec102, Rec104 and Rec114. Nucleic Acids Res 35(4):1119-33
11) Anuradha S and Muniyappa K  (2005) Molecular aspects of meiotic chromosome synapsis and recombination. Prog Nucleic Acid Res Mol Biol 79():49-132
12) Weiner BM and Kleckner N  (1994) Chromosome pairing via multiple interstitial interactions before and during meiosis in yeast. Cell 77(7):977-91
13) Bhuiyan H and Schmekel K  (2004) Meiotic chromosome synapsis in yeast can occur without spo11-induced DNA double-strand breaks. Genetics 168(2):775-83
14) Peoples-Holst TL and Burgess SM  (2005) Multiple branches of the meiotic recombination pathway contribute independently to homolog pairing and stable juxtaposition during meiosis in budding yeast. Genes Dev 19(7):863-74
15) Cao L, et al.  (1990) A pathway for generation and processing of double-strand breaks during meiotic recombination in S. cerevisiae. Cell 61(6):1089-101
16) Klapholz S, et al.  (1985) The role of the SPO11 gene in meiotic recombination in yeast. Genetics 110(2):187-216
17) Wagstaff JE, et al.  (1985) Meiotic exchange within and between chromosomes requires a common Rec function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol Cell Biol 5(12):3532-44
18) Thorne LW and Byers B  (1993) Stage-specific effects of X-irradiation on yeast meiosis. Genetics 134(1):29-42
19) Steber CM and Esposito RE  (1995) UME6 is a central component of a developmental regulatory switch controlling meiosis-specific gene expression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 92(26):12490-4
20) Prieler S, et al.  (2005) The control of Spo11's interaction with meiotic recombination hotspots. Genes Dev 19(2):255-69
21) Robine N, et al.  (2007) Genome-Wide Redistribution of Meiotic Double-Strand Breaks in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol Cell Biol 27(5):1868-80
22) Diaz RL, et al.  (2002) Identification of residues in yeast Spo11p critical for meiotic DNA double-strand break formation. Mol Cell Biol 22(4):1106-15
23) Bergerat A, et al.  (1997) An atypical topoisomerase II from Archaea with implications for meiotic recombination. Nature 386(6623):414-7