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J Biol Chem. 2002 Nov 15;277(46):43578-87. Epub 2002 Sep 10.

Functional cross-talk among Rad51, Rad54, and replication protein A in heteroduplex DNA joint formation.

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Department of Molecular Medicine/Institute of Biotechnology, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, 78245-3207, USA.


Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rad51, Rad54, and replication protein A (RPA) proteins work in concert to make heteroduplex DNA joints during homologous recombination. With plasmid length DNA substrates, maximal DNA joint formation is observed with amounts of Rad51 substantially below what is needed to saturate the initiating single-stranded DNA template, and, relative to Rad51, Rad54 is needed in only catalytic quantities. RPA is still indispensable for optimal reaction efficiency, but its role in this instance is to sequester free single-stranded DNA, which otherwise inhibits Rad51 and Rad54 functions. We also demonstrate that Rad54 helps overcome various reaction constraints in DNA joint formation. These results thus shed light on the function of Rad54 in the Rad51-mediated homologous DNA pairing reaction and also reveal a novel role of RPA in the presynaptic stage of this reaction.

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