The RecA family proteins mediate homologous recombination, a ubiquitous mechanism for repairing DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and stalled replication forks. Members of this family include bacterial RecA, archaeal RadA and Rad51, and eukaryotic Rad51 and Dmc1. These proteins bind to single-stranded DNA at a DSB site to form a presynaptic nucleoprotein filament, align this presynaptic filament with homologous sequences in another double-stranded DNA segment, promote DNA strand exchange and then dissociate. It was generally accepted that RecA family proteins function throughout their catalytic cycles as right-handed helical filaments with six protomers per helical turn. However, we recently reported that archaeal RadA proteins can also form an extended right-handed filament with three monomers per helical turn and a left-handed protein filament with four monomers per helical turn. Subsequent structural and functional analyses suggest that RecA family protein filaments, similar to the F1-ATPase rotary motor, perform ATP-dependent clockwise axial rotation during their catalytic cycles. This new hypothesis has opened a new avenue for understanding the molecular mechanism of RecA family proteins in homologous recombination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)