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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Apr 1;94(7):2951-6.

Single-strand DNA intermediates in phage lambda's Red recombination pathway.

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Institute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene 97403-1229, USA.


An assay was developed to assess early intermediates arising in lambda's Red recombination pathway. Double-strand breaks were delivered in vivo to nonreplicating lambda chromosomes. Analysis by blot hybridization of total DNA extracts revealed the following: (i) long (>1.4 kilobases) single-strand DNA (ssDNA) intermediates; (ii) resection proceeding bidirectionally from the break site; (iii) single-strand overhangs of 3' polarity; and (iv) in the absence of lambda's ninR functions, a requirement of the red alpha gene product for the production of ssDNA. Therefore, the physical characteristics exhibited by these ssDNA molecules are consistent with their being an early recombination intermediate in the Red recombination pathway as proposed previously from genetic and in vitro biochemical analyses.

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