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Mol Gen Genet. 1985;199(1):133-40.

Mechanism of transient inhibition of DNA synthesis in ultraviolet-irradiated E. coli: inhibition is independent of recA whilst recovery requires RecA protein itself and an additional, inducible SOS function.


The mechanism of the inhibition and of the recovery of DNA synthesis in E. coli following UV-irradiation was analysed in several mutants defective in repair or in the regulation of the RecA-LexA dependent SOS response. Several lines of evidence indicated that inhibition is not an inducible function and is probably due to the direct effect of lesions in the template blocking replisome movement. Recovery of DNA synthesis after UV was largely unaffected by mutations in the uvrA, recB or umuC genes. Resumption of DNA synthesis does however require protein synthesis and the regulatory action of recA. Experiments with a recA constitutive mutant and recA 200 (temperature sensitive RecA) demonstrated that RecA protein itself is directly required but is not sufficient for recovery of DNA synthesis. We therefore propose that recovery of DNA synthesis depends upon the concerted activity of RecA and the synthesis of an inducible Irr (induced replisome reactivation) factor under RecA control. We suggest that the mechanism of recovery involves the action of Irr and RecA to promote movement of replisomes past non-instructive lesions, uncoupled from polymerisation and/or that Irr and RecA are required to promote re-initiation of a stalled replication complex downstream of a UV-lesion subsequent to such an uncoupling step.

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