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Tetrahedron. 2007 Apr 23;63(17):3553-3566.

Probing the structure of RecA-DNA filaments. Advantages of a fluorescent guanine analog.

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Division of Medicinal Chemistry & Natural Products, School of Pharmacy, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB 7360, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7360, USA.


The RecA protein of Escherichia coli plays a crucial roles in DNA recombination and repair, as well as various aspects of bacterial pathogenicity. The formation of a RecA-ATP-ssDNA complex initiates all RecA activities and yet a complete structural and mechanistic description of this filament has remained elusive. An analysis of RecA-DNA interactions was performed using fluorescently labeled oligonucleotides. A direct comparison was made between fluorescein and several fluorescent nucleosides. The fluorescent guanine analog 6-methylisoxanthopterin (6MI) demonstrated significant advantages over the other fluorophores and represents an important new tool for characterizing RecA-DNA interactions.

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