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Recognition and alignment of homologous DNA sequences between minichromosomes and single-stranded DNA promoted by RecA protein

Ramdas, Jyoti and Muniyappa, K (1997) Recognition and alignment of homologous DNA sequences between minichromosomes and single-stranded DNA promoted by RecA protein. In: Molecular and General Genetics MGG, 249 (3). pp. 336-348.

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The incorporation of DNA into nucleosomes and higher-order forms of chromatin in vivo creates difficulties with respect to its accessibility for cellular functions such as transcription, replication, repair and recombination. To understand the role of chromatin structure in the process of homologous recombination, we have studied the interaction of nucleoprotein filaments, comprised of RecA protein and ssDNA, with minichromosomes. Using this paradigm, we have addressed how chromatin structure affects the search for homologous DNA sequences, and attempted to distinguish between two mutually exclusive models of DNA-DNA pairing mechanisms. Paradoxically, we found that the search for homologous sequences, as monitored by unwinding of homologous or heterologous duplex DNA, was facilitated by nucleosomes, with no discernible effect on homologous pairing. More importantly, unwinding of minichromosomes required the interaction of nucleoprotein filaments and led to the accumulation of circular duplex DNA sensitive to nuclease P1. Competition experiments indicated that chromatin templates and naked DNA served as equally efficient targets for homologous pairing. These and other findings suggest that nucleosomes do not impede but rather facilitate the search for homologous sequences and establish, in accordance with one proposed model, that unwinding of duplex DNA precedes alignment of homologous sequences at the level of chromatin. The potential application of this model to investigate the role of chromosomal proteins in the alignment of homologous sequences in the context of cellular recombination is considered.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Molecular and General Genetics MGG
Publisher: Springer
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Springer.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Biochemistry
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2010 06:15
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:55
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/25671

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