Send to

Choose Destination
Nucleic Acids Res. 1999 Jul 15;27(14):2938-46.

A dimer of the lymphoid protein RAG1 recognizes the recombination signal sequence and the complex stably incorporates the high mobility group protein HMG2.

Author information

Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Section of Immunobiology, Howard Huges Medical Institute, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8114, USA.


RAG1 and RAG2 are the two lymphoid-specific proteins required for the cleavage of DNA sequences known as the recombination signal sequences (RSSs) flanking V, D or J regions of the antigen-binding genes. Previous studies have shown that RAG1 alone is capable of binding to the RSS, whereas RAG2 only binds as a RAG1/RAG2 complex. We have expressed recombinant core RAG1 (amino acids 384-1008) in Escherichia coli and demonstrated catalytic activity when combined with RAG2. This protein was then used to determine its oligomeric forms and the dissociation constant of binding to the RSS. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays show that up to three oligomeric complexes of core RAG1 form with a single RSS. Core RAG1 was found to exist as a dimer both when free in solution and as the minimal species bound to the RSS. Competition assays show that RAG1 recognizes both the conserved nonamer and heptamer sequences of the RSS. Zinc analysis shows the core to contain two zinc ions. The purified RAG1 protein overexpressed in E.coli exhibited the expected cleavage activity when combined with RAG2 purified from transfected 293T cells. The high mobility group protein HMG2 is stably incorporated into the recombinant RAG1/RSS complex and can increase the affinity of RAG1 for the RSS in the absence of RAG2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center