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J Biol Chem. 2005 Mar 4;280(9):8051-9. Epub 2004 Dec 20.

Binding of Rad51 and other peptide sequences to a promiscuous, highly electrostatic binding site in p53.

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Cambridge Centre for Protein Engineering, Medical Research Council Centre, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QH, United Kingdom.


Homologous recombination is repressed by the binding of p53 to Rad51. We identified by fluorescence and NMR spectroscopy that peptides corresponding to residues 179-190 of Rad51 bind to the core domain of p53 in a site that overlaps with its specific DNA binding site. The p53 site is quite promiscuous, since it also binds peptides derived from 53BP1, 53BP2, Hif-1alpha, and BCL-X(L) in overlapping regions. Binding is mediated mainly by a strong, nonspecific, electrostatic component and is fine tuned by specific interactions. Competition of the different proteins with each other and with specific DNA for a single site in p53 could be a factor in regulation of its activity.

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