Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Mol Biol. 1997 Feb 28;266(3):525-37.

Recombinase binding specificity at the chromosome dimer resolution site dif of Escherichia coli.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, England.


Xer site-specific recombination functions in Escherichia coli chromosome segregation and cell division apparently by resolving chromosome dimers, which arise through homologous recombination, to monomers. Xer recombination requires two closely related site-specific recombinases, XerC and XerD, which bind cooperatively to the recombination site dif and catalyse separate pairs of strand exchanges. The dif site is an imperfect palindrome whose left and right halves are bound by XerC and XerD, respectively. By using variant dif sites in which the symmetry between the XerC and XerD binding sites was increased incrementally, the determinants in the dif site that specifically direct binding of XerC and XerD to their cognate sites were elucidated. The primary specificity nucleotides in the XerC and XerD binding sites were identified and their relative contributions to specificity assessed. The biological affects of these mutations on site-specific recombination, chromosome segregation and cell division were examined. The specificity determinants are confined to the non-palindromic outer ends of the binding sites. Replacement of the wild-type dif site with mutated dif sites at the normal location in the replication terminus region of the chromosome revealed that the sequence of the dif site can be altered substantially while retaining apparently normal chromosome segregation activity.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk