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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Jul 17;98(15):8440-6.

Complex formation by the human RAD51C and XRCC3 recombination repair proteins.

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  • 1Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Clare Hall Laboratories, South Mimms, Hertfordshire EN6 3LD, United Kingdom.


In vertebrates, the RAD51 protein is required for genetic recombination, DNA repair, and cellular proliferation. Five paralogs of RAD51, known as RAD51B, RAD51C, RAD51D, XRCC2, and XRCC3, have been identified and also shown to be required for recombination and genome stability. At the present time, however, very little is known about their biochemical properties or precise biological functions. As a first step toward understanding the roles of the RAD51 paralogs in recombination, the human RAD51C and XRCC3 proteins were overexpressed and purified from baculovirus-infected insect cells. The two proteins copurify as a complex, a property that reflects their endogenous association observed in HeLa cells. Purified RAD51C--XRCC3 complex binds single-stranded, but not duplex DNA, to form protein--DNA networks that have been visualized by electron microscopy.

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