DNA pairing and strand exchange by the Escherichia coli RecA and yeast Rad51 proteins without ATP hydrolysis. On the importance of not getting stuck

Kevin P. Rice, Aimee L. Eggler, Patrick Sung, Michael M. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

The bacterial RecA protein and the homologous Rad51 protein in eukaryotes both bind to single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), align it with a homologous duplex, and promote an extensive strand exchange between them. Both reactions have properties, including a tolerance of base analog substitutions that tend to eliminate major groove hydrogen bonding potential, that suggest a common molecular process underlies the DNA strand exchange promoted by RecA and Rad51. However, optimal conditions for the DNA pairing and DNA strand exchange reactions promoted by the RecA and Rad51 proteins in vitro are substantially different. When conditions are optimized independently for both proteins, RecA promotes DNA pairing reactions with short oligonucleotides at a faster rate than Rad51. For both proteins, conditions that improve DNA pairing can inhibit extensive DNA strand exchange reactions in the absence of ATP hydrolysis. Extensive strand exchange requires a spooling of duplex DNA into a recombinase-ssDNA complex, a process that can be halted by any interaction elsewhere on the same duplex that restricts free rotation of the duplex and/or complex, I.e. the reaction can get stuck. Optimization of an extensive DNA strand exchange without ATP hydrolysis requires conditions that decrease nonproductive interactions of recombinase-ssDNA complexes with the duplex DNA substrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38570-38581
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume276
Issue number42
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 19 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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