Regulation of DNA Pairing in Homologous Recombination

James M. Daley, William A. Gaines, Youngho Kwon, Patrick Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Homologous recombination (HR) is a major mechanism for eliminating DNA double-strand breaks from chromosomes. In this process, the break termini are resected nucleolytically to form 30 ssDNA (single-strand DNA) overhangs. A recombinase (i.e., a protein that catalyzes homologous DNA pairing and strand exchange) assembles onto the ssDNA and promotes pairing with a homologous duplex. DNA synthesis then initiates from the 30 end of the invading strand, and the extended DNA joint is resolved via one of several pathways to restore the integrity of the injured chromosome. It is crucial that HR be carefully orchestrated because spurious events can create cytotoxic intermediates or cause genomic rearrangements and loss of gene heterozygosity, which can lead to cell death or contribute to the development of cancer. In this review, we will discuss how DNA motor proteins regulate HR via a dynamic balance of the recombination-promoting and-attenuating activities that they possess.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalCold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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