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J Mol Biol. 1998 Mar 6;276(4):721-31.

The beta protein of phage lambda binds preferentially to an intermediate in DNA renaturation.

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Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.


Phage lambda encodes two recombination proteins that are required for homologous recombination in a recA- host strain. Of these two recombination proteins, one is an exonuclease whose action on double-stranded DNA produces 3' single-stranded ends; the other, called beta protein, is a DNA binding protein that promotes the renaturation of complementary single strands. The enzymes of phage lambda provide a model for understanding a recombination pathway called "single-strand annealing". Further investigation of the binding of beta protein to DNA has revealed a new mechanism of renaturation. As reported before, beta protein binds directly to single-stranded DNA, but not to double-stranded DNA. However, in the experiments reported here, we observed that beta protein bound more strongly to a presumed intermediate in the renaturation reaction that beta itself catalyzed, and beta thereby protected all of a renatured duplex 83-mer oligonucleotide from nuclease digestion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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