RecA protein reinitiates strand exchange on isolated protein-free DNA intermediates. An ADP-resistant process

Rao, B. Jagadeeshwar ; Jwang, Biru ; Radding, Charles M. (1990) RecA protein reinitiates strand exchange on isolated protein-free DNA intermediates. An ADP-resistant process Journal of Molecular Biology, 213 (4). pp. 789-809. ISSN 0022-2836

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Efficient homologous pairing de novo of linear duplex DNA with a circular single strand (plus strand) coated with RecA protein requires saturation and extension of the single strand by the protein. However, strand exchange, the transfer of a strand from duplex DNA to the nucleoprotein filament, which follows homologous pairing, does not require the stable binding of RecA protein to single-stranded DNA. When RecA protein was added back to isolated protein-free DNA intermediates in the presence of sufficient ADP to inhibit strongly the binding of RecA protein to single-stranded DNA, strand exchange nonetheless resumed at the original rate and went to completion. Characterization of the protein-free DNA intermediate suggested that it has a special site or region to which RecA protein binds. Part of the nascent displaced plus strand of the deproteinized intermediate was unavailable as a cofactor for the ATPase activity of RecA protein, and about 30% resisted digestion by P1 endonuclease, which acts preferentially on single-stranded DNA. At the completion of strand exchange, when the distal 5′ end of the linear minus strand had been fully incorporated into heteroduplex DNA, a nucleoprotein complex remained that contained all three strands of DNA from which the nascent displaced strand dissociated only over the next 50 to 60 minutes. Deproteinization of this intermediate yielded a complex that also contained three strands of DNA in which the nascent displaced strand was partially resistant to both Escherichia coli exonuclease I and P1 endonuclease. The deproteinized complex showed a broad melting transition between 37°C and temperatures high enough to melt duplex DNA. These results show that strand exchange can be subdivided into two stages: (1) the exchange of base-pairs, which creates a new heteroduplex pair in place of a parental pair; and (2) strand separation, which is the physical displacement of the unpaired strand from the nucleoprotein filament. Between the creation of new heteroduplex DNA and the eventual separation of a third strand, there exists an unusual DNA intermediate that may contain three-stranded regions of natural DNA that are several thousand bases in length.

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Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
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