RecA-mediated annealing of single-stranded DNA and its relation to the mechanism of homologous recombination

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Abstract

We demonstrate that RecA protein can mediate annealing of complementary DNA strands in vitro by at least two different mechanisms. The first annealing mechanism predominates under conditions where RecA protein causes coaggregation of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) molecules and where RecA-free ssDNA stretches are present on both reaction partners. Under these conditions annealing can take place between locally concentrated protein-free complementary sequences. Other DNA aggregating agents like histone H1 or ethanol stimulate annealing by the same mechanism.

The second mechanism of RecA-mediated annealing of complementary DNA strands is best manifested when preformed saturated RecA-ssDNA complexes interact with protein-free ssDNA. In this case, annealing can occur between the ssDNA strand resident in the complex and the ssDNA strand that interacts with the preformed RecA-ssDNA complex. Here, the action of RecA protein reflects its specific recombination promoting mechanism. This mechanism enables DNA molecules resident in the presynaptic RecA-DNA complexes to be exposed for hydrogen bond formation with DNA molecules contacting the presynaptic RecA-DNA filament.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-145
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Volume221
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sep 1991

Keywords

  • HOMOLOGOUS RECOMBINATION
  • RECA PROTEIN
  • DNA ANNEALING
  • PROTEIN DNA INTERACTIONS
  • RECA DNA COMPLEXES
  • ATP-GAMMA-S
  • ESCHERICHIA-COLI
  • GENETIC-RECOMBINATION
  • DUPLEX DNA
  • NUCLEOPROTEIN FILAMENTS
  • HELICAL FILAMENTS
  • BINDING-SITES
  • UVSX PROTEIN
  • COMPLEXES
  • RENATURATION
  • homologous recombination
  • RecA protein
  • DNA annealing
  • protein-DNA interactions
  • RecA-DNA

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