Reconstitution of an SOS response pathway: Derepression of transcription in response to DNA breaks

Daniel G. Anderson, Stephen C. Kowalczykowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations


E. coli responds to DNA damage by derepressing the transcription of about 20 genes that make up the SOS pathway. Genetic analyses have shown that SOS induction in response to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) breaks requires LexA repressor, and the RecA and RecBCD enzymes-proteins best known for their role as initiators of dsDNA break repair and homologous recombination. Here we demonstrate that purified RecA protein, RecBCD enzyme, single-stranded DNA- binding (SSB) protein, and LexA repressor respond to dsDNA breaks in vitro by derepressing transcription from an SOS promoter. Interestingly, derepression is more rapid if the DNA containing the dsDNA break has a X recombination hot spot (5'-GCTGGTGG,3'), suggesting a novel regulatory role for one of the most overrepresented octamers in the E. coli genome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-979
Number of pages5
Issue number7
StatePublished - Dec 23 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this