A novel pairing process promoted by Escherichia coli RecA protein: Inverse DNA and RNA strand exchange

Eugene N. Zaitsev, Stephen C. Kowalczykowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Traditionally, recombination reactions promoted by RecA-like proteins initiate by forming a nucleoprotein filament on a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), which then pairs with homologous double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). In this paper, we describe a novel pairing process that occurs in an unconventional manner: RecA protein polymerizes along dsDNA to form an active nucleoprotein filament that can pair and exchange strands with homologous ssDNA. Our results demonstrate that this 'inverse' reaction is a unique, highly efficient DNA strand exchange reaction that is not due to redistribution of RecA protein from dsDNA to the homologous ssDNA partner. Finally, we demonstrate that the RecA protein-dsDNA filament can also pair and promote strand exchange with ssRNA. This inverse RNA strand exchange reaction is likely responsible for R-loop formation that is required for recombination-dependent DNA replication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)740-749
Number of pages10
JournalGenes and Development
Volume14
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2000

Keywords

  • DNA pairing
  • DNA strand exchange
  • R-loop
  • RecA protein
  • Recombination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology

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