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Mol Cell. 2000 Sep;6(3):583-92.

Rad54 protein is targeted to pairing loci by the Rad51 nucleoprotein filament.

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Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.


Rad51 and Rad54 proteins are important for the repair of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) breaks by homologous recombination in eukaryotes. Rad51 assembles on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) to form a helical nucleoprotein filament that performs homologous pairing with dsDNA; Rad54 stimulates this pairing substantially. Here, we demonstrate that Rad54 acts in concert with the mature Rad51-ssDNA filament. Enhancement of DNA pairing by Rad54 is greatest at an equimolar ratio relative to Rad51 within the filament. Reciprocally, the Rad51-ssDNA filament enhances both the dsDNA-dependent ATPase and the dsDNA unwinding activities of Rad54. We conclude that Rad54 participates in the DNA homology search as a component of the Rad51-nucleoprotein filament and that the filament delivers Rad54 to the dsDNA pairing locus, thereby linking the unwinding of potential target DNA with the homology search process.

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