Biochemical basis of the constitutive repressor cleavage activity of recA730 protein: A comparison to recA441 and recA803 proteins

Polly E. Lavery, Stephen C. Kowalczykowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


The recA730 mutation results in constitutive SOS and prophage induction. We examined biochemical properties of recA730 protein in an effort to explain the constitutive activity observed in recA730 strains. We find that recA730 protein is more proficient than the wild-type recA protein in the competition with single-stranded DNA binding protein (SSB protein) for single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding sites. Because an increased aptitude in the competition with SSB protein has been previously reported for recA441 protein and recA803 protein, we directly compared their in vitro activities with those of recA730 protein. At low magnesium ion concentration, both ATP hydrolysis and lexA protein cleavage experiments demonstrate that these recA proteins displace SSB protein from ssDNA in a manner consistent with their in vivo repressor cleavage activity, i.e. recA730 protein > recA441 protein > recA803 protein > recAwt protein. Additionally, a correlation exists between the proficiency of the recA proteins in SSB protein displacement and their rate of association with ssDNA. We propose that an increased rate of association with ssDNA allows recA730 protein to displace SSB protein from the ssDNA that occurs naturally in Escherichia coli and thereby to become activated for the repressor cleavage that leads to SOS induction. RecA441 protein is similarly activated for repressor cleavage; however, in this case, significant SSB protein displacement occurs only at elevated temperature. At physiological magnesium ion concentration, we argue that recA803 protein and wild-type recA protein do not displace sufficient SSB protein from ssDNA to constitutively induce the SOS response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20648-20658
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number29
StatePublished - Oct 15 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Biochemical basis of the constitutive repressor cleavage activity of recA730 protein: A comparison to recA441 and recA803 proteins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this