The AddAB enzyme is important to homologous DNA recombination in Bacillus subtilis, where it is thought to be the functional counterpart of the RecBCD enzyme of Escherichi a coli. In vivo, AddAB responds to a specific five-nucleotide sequence (5'-AGCGG-3' or its complement) in a manner analogous to the response of the RecBCD enzyme to interaction with χ sequences. Here, we show that purified AddAB enzyme is able to load at a double-stranded DNA end and is both a DNA helicase and nuclease, whose combined action results in the degradation of both strands of the DNA duplex. During translocation, recognition of the properly oriented sequence 5'-AGCGG-3' causes attenuation of the AddAB enzyme nuclease activity that is responsible for degradation of the strand 3'-terminal at the entry site. Therefore, we conclude that 5'-AGCGG-3' is the B. subtilis Chi site and it is hereafter referred to as χ(Bs). After encountering χ(Bs), both the degradation of the 5'-terminal strand and the helicase activity persist. Thus, processing of a double-stranded DNA end by the AddAB enzyme produces a duplex DNA molecule with a protruding 3'-terminated single-stranded tail, a universal intermediate of the recombination process. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
- Homologous recombination
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