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Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Sep;20(17):6476-82.

The Rad51 paralog Rad51B promotes homologous recombinational repair.

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  • 1Bayer-Chair Department of Molecular Immunology and Allergy, Faculty of Medicine, Japan.


The highly conserved Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rad51 protein plays a central role in both mitotic and meiotic homologous DNA recombination. Seven members of the Rad51 family have been identified in vertebrate cells, including Rad51, Dmc1, and five Rad51-related proteins referred to as Rad51 paralogs, which share 20 to 30% sequence identity with Rad51. In chicken B lymphocyte DT40 cells, we generated a mutant with RAD51B/RAD51L1, a member of the Rad51 family, knocked out. RAD51B(-/-) cells are viable, although spontaneous chromosomal aberrations kill about 20% of the cells in each cell cycle. Rad51B deficiency impairs homologous recombinational repair (HRR), as measured by targeted integration, sister chromatid exchange, and intragenic recombination at the immunoglobulin locus. RAD51B(-/-) cells are quite sensitive to the cross-linking agents cisplatin and mitomycin C and mildly sensitive to gamma-rays. The formation of damage-induced Rad51 nuclear foci is much reduced in RAD51B(-/-) cells, suggesting that Rad51B promotes the assembly of Rad51 nucleoprotein filaments during HRR. These findings show that Rad51B is important for repairing various types of DNA lesions and maintaining chromosome integrity.

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