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Gene Review

xerC  -  site-specific tyrosine recombinase

Escherichia coli str. K-12 substr. MG1655

Synonyms: ECK3806, JW3784
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Disease relevance of xerC

  • Site-specific recombination at the plasmid ColE1 cer site requires the Escherichia coli chromosomal gene xerC [1].
  • The xerD and xerC genes were present in a sample of 20 S. pneumoniae strains whereas the other xer genes appear to be absent in some of the strains and are more closely related to integrases of phage and transposon origin [2].

High impact information on xerC

  • The xerC gene is expressed as part of a multicistronic unit that includes the dapF gene and two other open reading frames [1].
  • The xerC gene has been localized to the 85-min region of the E. coli chromosome, between cya and uvrD [1].
  • The nucleotide sequences of the xerC gene and flanking regions have been determined [1].
  • There are at least another four genes in the S. pneumoniae KNR_7/87 genome encoding Xer related peptides, one of which was identified as the xerC homologue [2].
  • The cell division phenotype of xerC mutants is suppressed in strains deficient in homologous recombination, suggesting that the role of XerC/dif in chromosomal metabolism is to convert any chromosomal multimers (arising through homologous recombination) to monomers [3].


  1. Recombination at ColE1 cer requires the Escherichia coli xerC gene product, a member of the lambda integrase family of site-specific recombinases. Colloms, S.D., Sykora, P., Szatmari, G., Sherratt, D.J. J. Bacteriol. (1990) [Pubmed]
  2. A XerD recombinase with unusual active site motifs in Streptococcus pneumoniae. Reichmann, P., Hakenbeck, R. J. Mol. Microbiol. Biotechnol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  3. Escherichia coli XerC recombinase is required for chromosomal segregation at cell division. Blakely, G., Colloms, S., May, G., Burke, M., Sherratt, D. New Biol. (1991) [Pubmed]
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