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Cell. 1986 Dec 5;47(5):793-806.

DNA synthesis dependent on genetic recombination: characterization of a reaction catalyzed by purified bacteriophage T4 proteins.


To simulate a reaction that occurs in T4-infected cells, we have developed an in vitro DNA synthesis system that requires seven highly purified proteins encoded by this bacteriophage: the DNA polymerase "holoenzyme" (four proteins), gene 32 protein, dda DNA helicase, and uvsX protein - an enzyme that catalyzes homologous DNA pairing and is functionally homologous to the recA protein. In the reaction observed, the 3'OH end of one single-stranded DNA molecule primes DNA synthesis using a double-stranded DNA molecule of homologous sequence as the template. The uvsX protein continuously removes the new DNA chain from its template, so that DNA is synthesized by a conservative mechanism. This type of reaction, which requires the cooperation of recombination and replication enzymes, seems likely to be a general feature of DNA metabolism.

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