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Mol Microbiol. 2001 Jun;40(6):1415-26.

Disruptions of the Ustilago maydis REC2 gene identify a protein domain important in directing recombinational repair of DNA.

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Hearst Microbiology Research Center, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Cornell University Weill Medical College, New York, NY 10021, USA.


The REC2 gene of Ustilago maydis encodes a homologue of the Escherichia coli RecA protein and was first identified in a screen for UV-sensitive mutants. The original isolate, rec2-1, was found to be deficient in repair of DNA damage, genetic recombination and meiosis. We report here that the rec2-197 allele, which was constructed by gene disruption, retains some biological activity and is partially dominant with respect to REC2. The basis for the residual activity is probably as a result of expression of a diffusible product from the rec2-197 allele that augments or interferes with REC2 functions. This product appears to be a polypeptide expressed from a remnant of the 5' end of the open reading frame that was not removed in creating the gene disruption. The mutator activity and disturbed meiosis of rec2-197 suggest that the Rec2 protein functions in a process that avoids spontaneous mutation and insures faithful meiotic chromosome segregation. A prediction based on the phenotype of rec2-197 is that Rec2 protein interacts with one or more other proteins in directing these functions. To identify interacting proteins we performed a yeast two-hybrid screen and found Rad51 as a candidate. Rec2-197 and Rad51 appear to interact to a similar degree.

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