Drosophila BLM in double-strand break repair by synthesis-dependent strand annealing.
Bloom syndrome, characterized by a predisposition to cancer, is caused by mutation of the RecQ DNA helicase gene BLM. The precise function of BLM remains unclear. Previous research suggested that Drosophila BLM functions in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Most double-strand breaks in flies are repaired by homologous recombination through the synthesis-dependent strand-annealing pathway. Here, we demonstrate that Drosophila BLM mutants are severely impaired in their ability to carry out repair DNA synthesis during synthesis-dependent strand annealing. Consequently, repair in the mutants is completed by error-prone pathways that create large deletions. These results suggest a model in which BLM maintains genomic stability by promoting efficient repair DNA synthesis and thereby prevents double-strand break repair by less precise pathways.