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Mol Cell Biol. 1990 Feb;10(2):794-800.

Homologous recombination enhancement conferred by the Z-DNA motif d(TG)30 is abrogated by simian virus 40 T antigen binding to adjacent DNA sequences.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Illinois, College of Medicine, Chicago 60612.


The Z-DNA motif polydeoxythymidylic-guanylic [d(TG)].polydeoxyadenylic-cytidylic acid [d(AC)], present throughout eucaryotic genomes, is capable of readily forming left-handed Z-DNA in vitro and has been shown to promote homologous recombination. The effects of simian virus 40 T-antigen-dependent substrate replication upon the stimulation of recombination conferred by the Z-DNA motif d(TG)30 were analyzed. Presence of d(TG)30 adjacent to a T-antigen-binding site I can stimulate homologous recombination between nonreplicating plasmids, providing that T antigen is absent, in both simian CV-1 cells and human EJ cells (W. P. Wahls, L. J. Wallace, and P. D. Moore, Mol. Cell. Biol. 10:785-793). It has also been shown elsewhere that the presence of d(TG)n not adjacent to the T-antigen-binding site can stimulate homologous recombination in simian virus 40 molecules replicating in the presence of T antigen (P. Bullock, J. Miller, and M. Botchan, Mol. Cell. Biol. 6:3948-3953, 1986). However, it is demonstrated here that d(TG)30 nine base pairs distant from a T-antigen-binding site bound with T antigen does not stimulate recombination between either replicating or nonreplicating substrates in somatic cells. The bound T antigen either prevents the d(TG)30 sequence from acquiring a recombinogenic configuration (such as left-handed Z-DNA), or it prevents the interaction of recombinase proteins with the sequence by stearic hindrance.

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