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Gene Review

ECs3764  -  ssDNA exonuclease RecJ

Escherichia coli O157:H7 str. Sakai

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Disease relevance of ECs3764

  • Nascent DNA processing by RecJ favors lesion repair over translesion synthesis at arrested replication forks in Escherichia coli [1].
  • Recombination of lambda red gam phage in recD mutants is unaffected by inactivation of RecJ exonuclease [2].
  • (2) S. typhimurium dam recJ mutants are viable, suggesting that the Salmonella RecJ function does not participate in the repair of DNA strand breaks formed in the absence of Dam methylation [3].
  • Multiple genes encoding proteins similar to RecJ are found in some eubacteria, including Bacillus and Helicobacter, and in the archaea [4].
  • Genes encoding proteins with strong similarities to RecJ have been found in every eubacterial genome sequenced to date, with the exception of Mycoplasma and Mycobacterium tuberculosis [4].

High impact information on ECs3764

  • In ExoI(-) RecJ(-) strains, gene conversion can be accomplished by transformation of short single-strand DNA oligonucleotides and is more efficient when the oligonucleotide is complementary to the lagging-strand replication template [5].
  • The quadruple mutant deficient in the four exonucleases, as well as the triple mutant deficient in RecJ exonuclease, exonuclease VII, and exonuclease I, grow poorly in the presence of the base analogue 2-aminopurine, and exposure to the base analogue results in filament formation, indicative of induction of SOS DNA damage response [6].
  • Release of 5'-terminal deoxyribose-phosphate residues from incised abasic sites in DNA by the Escherichia coli RecJ protein [7].
  • In the recB1080 mutant RecQ helicase is not important, whereas RecJ nuclease slightly decreases SOS induction after UV irradiation [8].
  • Sequences highly related to those encoding RecJ can be found in most of the eubacterial genomes sequenced to date [9].

Chemical compound and disease context of ECs3764

  • In vitro, the methyl-directed mismatch repair system of Escherichia coli requires the single-strand exonuclease activity of either ExoI, ExoVII, or RecJ and possibly a fourth, unknown single-strand exonuclease [10].

Biological context of ECs3764

  • The RecJ protein of Escherichia coli plays an important role in a number of DNA repair and recombination pathways [9].
  • Archaeal genomes are particularly rich in such sequences, but it has not been clear whether any of the encoded proteins play a functional role similar to that of RecJ exonuclease [9].


  1. Nascent DNA processing by RecJ favors lesion repair over translesion synthesis at arrested replication forks in Escherichia coli. Courcelle, C.T., Chow, K.H., Casey, A., Courcelle, J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. Exonuclease requirements for recombination of lambda-phage in recD mutants of Escherichia coli. Dermić, D., Zahradka, D., Petranović, M. Genetics (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. DNA adenine methylase mutants of Salmonella typhimurium and a novel dam-regulated locus. Torreblanca, J., Casadesús, J. Genetics (1996) [Pubmed]
  4. Mutational analysis of the RecJ exonuclease of Escherichia coli: identification of phosphoesterase motifs. Sutera, V.A., Han, E.S., Rajman, L.A., Lovett, S.T. J. Bacteriol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  5. RecA-independent recombination is efficient but limited by exonucleases. Dutra, B.E., Sutera, V.A., Lovett, S.T. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2007) [Pubmed]
  6. In vivo requirement for RecJ, ExoVII, ExoI, and ExoX in methyl-directed mismatch repair. Burdett, V., Baitinger, C., Viswanathan, M., Lovett, S.T., Modrich, P. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2001) [Pubmed]
  7. Release of 5'-terminal deoxyribose-phosphate residues from incised abasic sites in DNA by the Escherichia coli RecJ protein. Dianov, G., Sedgwick, B., Daly, G., Olsson, M., Lovett, S., Lindahl, T. Nucleic Acids Res. (1994) [Pubmed]
  8. Genetic evidence for the requirement of RecA loading activity in SOS induction after UV irradiation in Escherichia coli. Ivancic-Bace, I., Vlasic, I., Salaj-Smic, E., Brcic-Kostic, K. J. Bacteriol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  9. A thermostable single-strand DNase from Methanococcus jannaschii related to the RecJ recombination and repair exonuclease from Escherichia coli. Rajman, L.A., Lovett, S.T. J. Bacteriol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  10. Mismatch repair in Escherichia coli cells lacking single-strand exonucleases ExoI, ExoVII, and RecJ. Harris, R.S., Ross, K.J., Lombardo, M.J., Rosenberg, S.M. J. Bacteriol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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