Multiple interactions with the rad51 recombinase govern the homologous recombination function of Rad54

Markus Raschle, Stephen Van Komen, Peter Chi, Tom Ellenberger, Patrick Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


In eukaryotes, Rad51 and Rad54 functionally cooperate to mediate homologous recombination and the repair of damaged chromosomes by recombination. Rad51, the eukaryotic counterpart of the bacterial RecA recombinase, forms filaments on single-stranded DNA that are capable of pairing the bound DNA with a homologous double-stranded donor to yield joint molecules. Rad54 enhances the homologous DNA pairing reaction, and this stimulatory effect involves a physical interaction with Rad51. Correspondingly, the ability of Rad54 to hydrolyze ATP and introduce superhelical tension into covalently closed circular plasmid DNA is stimulated by Rad51. By controlled proteolysis, we show that the amino-terminal region of yeast Rad54 is rather unstructured. Truncation mutations that delete the N-terminal 113 or 129 amino acid residues of Rad54 attenuate or ablate physical and functional interactions with Rad51 under physiological ionic strength, respectively. Surprisingly, under less stringent conditions, the Rad54 Δ129 protein can interact with Rad51 in affinity pull-down and functional assays. These results highlight the functional importance of the N-terminal Rad51 interaction domain of Rad54 and reveal that Rad54 contacts Rad51 through separable epitopes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51973-51980
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 10 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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