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Mol Cell. 2005 Feb 18;17(4):561-72.

DNA polymerase V and RecA protein, a minimal mutasome.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.


A hallmark of the Escherichia coli SOS response is the large increase in mutations caused by translesion synthesis (TLS). TLS requires DNA polymerase V (UmuD'2C) and RecA. Here, we show that pol V and RecA interact by two distinct mechanisms. First, pol V binds to RecA in the absence of DNA and ATP and second, through its UmuD' subunit, requiring DNA and ATP without ATP hydrolysis. TLS occurs in the absence of a RecA nucleoprotein filament but is inhibited in its presence. Therefore, a RecA nucleoprotein filament is unlikely to be required for SOS mutagenesis. Pol V activity is severely diminished in the absence of RecA or in the presence of RecA1730, a mutant defective for pol V mutagenesis in vivo. Pol V activity is strongly enhanced with RecA mutants constitutive for mutagenesis in vivo, suggesting that RecA is an obligate accessory factor that activates pol V for SOS mutagenesis.

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