Send to

Choose Destination
J Mol Biol. 1992 Jun 5;225(3):621-42.

Half-site recombinations mediated by yeast site-specific recombinases Flp and R.

Author information

Department of Microbiology, University of Texas, Austin 78712.


The Flp recombinase of Saccharomyces cerevisae and the related R recombinase of Zygosaccharomyces rouxii can efficiently catalyze strand cleavage and strand exchange reactions in half recombination sites. A half-site consists of one recombinase binding element, a recombinase cleavage site on one strand and a 5' spacer hydroxyl group on the other that can initiate the strand exchange reaction. We have studied the various types of strand exchanges that half-sites can participate in. Reaction between a left half-site and a right half-site generates a full recombination site. Strand transfer between two left half-sites or between two right half-sites produces pseudo-full-sites. Strand transfer within a half-site results in a stem-loop or hairpin product. The half-site strand transfer reaction is fairly indifferent to the spacer sequence of the substrate per se and is less sensitive to variations in spacer lengths than a full-site recombination reaction. The optimal spacer length of eight to ten nucleotides observed for the Flp half-site reaction likely permits the most productive catalytic interactions between two Flp monomers bound to each of two partner half-sites. When reacted with a full-site, the half-site can give rise to a normal or reverse recombinant, corresponding to homologous or non-homologous alignments of the spacer sequences during substrate synapsis. The contrary recombination (resulting from non-homologous spacer alignment), whose level is low relative to normal recombination, is partly suppressed when the half-site spacer ends in a 5'-phosphate rather than a 5'-hydroxyl group. Thus, the early steps of recombination, namely synapsis and initial stand transfer, are not dependent on complete spacer homology between the two recombining substrates. The selection of properly aligned substrate partners must occur at the homology dependent branch migration step. In reactions containing a mixture of Flp and R half-sites, Flp and R catalyze strand transfer, almost exclusively, within or between their respective cognate substrates. However, under conditions where self-crosses are inhibited, strand exchange between a Flp half-site and an R half-site appears to be stimulated by a combination of R and Flp.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center