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J Bacteriol. 1994 Jun;176(12):3661-72.

RecOR suppression of recF mutant phenotypes in Escherichia coli K-12.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


The recF, recO, and recR genes form the recFOR epistasis group for DNA repair. recF mutants are sensitive to UV irradiation and fail to properly induce the SOS response. Using plasmid derivatives that overexpress combinations of the recO+ and recR+ genes, we tested the hypothesis that high-level expression of recO+ and recR+ (recOR) in vivo will indirectly suppress the recF mutant phenotypes mentioned above. We found that overexpression of just recR+ from the plasmid will partially suppress both phenotypes. Expression of the chromosomal recO+ gene is essential for the recR+ suppression. Hence we call this RecOR suppression of recF mutant phenotypes. RecOR suppression of SOS induction is more efficient with recO+ expression from a plasmid than with recO+ expression from the chromosome. This is not true for RecOR suppression of UV sensitivity (the two are equal). Comparison of RecOR suppression with the suppression caused by recA801 and recA803 shows that RecOR suppression of UV sensitivity is more effective than recA803 suppression and that RecOR suppression of UV sensitivity, like recA801 suppression, requires recJ+. We present a model that explains the data and proposes a function for the recFOR epistasis group in the induction of the SOS response and recombinational DNA repair.

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