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J Biol Chem. 1998 Feb 13;273(7):3799-802.

Regulation of Rad51 function by c-Abl in response to DNA damage.

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  • 1Division of Cancer Pharmacology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The Rad51 protein, a homolog of bacterial RecA, functions in DNA double-strand break repair and genetic recombination. Whereas Rad51 catalyzes ATP-dependent pairing and strand exchange between homologous DNA molecules, regulation of this function is unknown. The c-Abl tyrosine kinase is activated by ionizing radiation and certain other DNA-damaging agents. Here we demonstrate that c-Abl interacts constitutively with Rad51. We show that c-Abl phosphorylates Rad51 on Tyr-54 in vitro. The results also show that treatment of cells with ionizing radiation induces c-Abl-dependent phosphorylation of Rad51. Phosphorylation of Rad51 by c-Abl inhibits the binding of Rad51 to DNA and the function of Rad51 in ATP-dependent DNA strand exchange reactions. These findings represent the first demonstration that Rad51 is regulated by phosphorylation and support a functional role for c-Abl in regulating Rad51-dependent recombination in the response to DNA damage.

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