A postsynaptic role for single-stranded DNA-binding protein in recA protein-promoted DNA strand exchange

Polly E. Lavery, Stephen C. Kowalczykowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

The single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB protein) is required for efficient genetic recombination in vivo. One function for SSB protein in DNA strand exchange in vitro is to remove secondary structure from single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and thereby aid in the formation of recA protein-saturated presynaptic complexes. In the preceding paper (Lavery, P. E., and Kowalczykowski, S. C. (1992) J. Biol. Chem. 267, 9307-9314) we demonstrated that DNA strand exchange can occur in the presence of volume-occupying agents at low magnesium ion concentration, where secondary structures are reduced. Our results suggest that SSB protein is not acting during presynapsis under these conditions, yet the DNA strand exchange reaction is stimulated by the addition of SSB protein. In this study we present biochemical evidence which suggests that SSB protein stimulates DNA strand exchange by binding to the ssDNA displaced from joint molecules, thereby stabilizing them and allowing branch migration to extend the region of heteroduplex DNA. Therefore, our results indicate dual roles for SSB protein at elevated magnesium ion concentration; it functions during presynapsis, removing secondary structure from ssDNA, as indicated previously, and it also functions postsynaptically, binding to the ssDNA displaced from joint molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9315-9320
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume267
Issue number13
StatePublished - May 5 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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