Genetic recombination in Escherichia coli: Holliday junctions made by RecA protein are resolved by fractionated cell-free extracts

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Escherichia coli RecA protein catalyzes reciprocal strand-exchange reactions between duplex DNA molecules, provided that one contains a single-stranded gap or tail, to form recombination intermediates containing Holliday junctions. Recombination reactions are thought to occur within helical RecA-nucleoprotein filaments in which DNA molecules are interwound. Structures generated in vitro by RecA protein have been used to detect an activity from fractionated E. coli extracts that resolves the intermediates into heteroduplex recombinant products. Resolution occurs by specific endonucleolytic cleavage at the Holliday junction. The products of cleavage are characteristic of patch and splice recombinants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8476-8480
Number of pages5
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 1990



  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Bacteriophage phi X 174
  • DNA, Circular
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • DNA, Viral
  • Escherichia coli
  • Rec A Recombinases
  • Recombination, Genetic

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