Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biomed Sci. 2009 Apr 1;16:37. doi: 10.1186/1423-0127-16-37.

The N-terminal domain of Escherichia coli RecA have multiple functions in promoting homologous recombination.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei 115, Taiwan.


Escherichia coli RecA mediates homologous recombination, a process essential to maintaining genome integrity. In the presence of ATP, RecA proteins bind a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) to form a RecA-ssDNA presynaptic nucleoprotein filament that captures donor double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), searches for homology, and then catalyzes the strand exchange between ssDNA and dsDNA to produce a new heteroduplex DNA. Based upon a recently reported crystal structure of the RecA-ssDNA nucleoprotein filament, we carried out structural and functional studies of the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the RecA protein. The RecA NTD was thought to be required for monomer-monomer interaction. Here we report that it has two other distinct roles in promoting homologous recombination. It first facilitates the formation of a RecA-ssDNA presynaptic nucleoprotein filament by converting ATP to an ADP-Pi intermediate. Then, once the RecA-ssDNA presynaptic nucleoprotein filament is stably assembled in the presence of ATPgammaS, the NTD is required to capture donor dsDNA. Our results also suggest that the second function of NTD may be similar to that of Arg243 and Lys245, which were implicated earlier as binding sites of donor dsDNA. A two-step model is proposed to explain how a RecA-ssDNA presynaptic nucleoprotein filament interacts with donor dsDNA.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center