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J Mol Biol. 1995 Dec 1;254(3):364-71.

Electron microscopic visualization of RecT protein and its complexes with DNA.

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Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599, USA.


Electron microscopy has been used to examine Escherichia coli RecT protein alone and in the complexes it forms with DNA substrates, with which it catalyzes strand exchange in vitro. Negative staining has revealed that the 33 kDa RecT protein monomers form open C-shaped and closed O-shaped particles. RecT protein monomers assemble into donut-shaped oligomers containing seven or eight protein monomers and rod-like structures. When bound to single-stranded DNA, RecT forms highly twisted nucleoprotein filaments that are 18 nm in diameter and have a helical pitch of 10 nm. When added to linear duplex DNA in the presence of active RecE protein (exonuclease VIII), filamentous nucleoprotein complexes are formed on the DNA ends and the DNA molecules are frequently cyclized through protein-protein interactions.

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