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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Genetic analysis of double-strand break repair in Escherichia coli.

We had reported that a double-strand gap (ca. 300 bp long) in a duplex DNA is repaired through gene conversion copying a homologous duplex in a recB21 recC22 sbcA23 strain of Escherichia coli, as predicted on the basis of the double-strand break repair models. We have now examined various mutants for this repair capacity. (i) The recE159 mutation abolishes the reaction in the recB21C22 sbcA23 background. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that exonuclease VIII exposes a 3'-ended single strand from a double-strand break. (ii) Two recA alleles, including a complete deletion, fail to block the repair in this recBC sbcA background. (iii) Mutations in two more SOS-inducible genes, recN and recQ, do not decrease the repair. In addition, a lexA (Ind-) mutation, which blocks SOS induction, does not block the reaction. (iv) The recJ, recF, recO, and recR gene functions are nonessential in this background. (v) The RecBCD enzyme does not abolish the gap repair. We then examined genetic backgrounds other than recBC sbcA, in which the RecE pathway is not active. We failed to detect the double-strand gap repair in a rec+, a recA1, or a recB21 C22 strain, nor did we find the gap repair activity in a recD mutant or in a recB21 C22 sbcB15 sbcC201 mutant. We also failed to detect conservative repair of a simple double-strand break, which was made by restriction cleavage of an inserted linker oligonucleotide, in these backgrounds. We conclude that the RecBCD, RecBCD-, and RecF pathways cannot promote conservative double-strand break repair as the RecE and lambda Red pathways can.[1]


  1. Genetic analysis of double-strand break repair in Escherichia coli. Takahashi, N.K., Kusano, K., Yokochi, T., Kitamura, Y., Yoshikura, H., Kobayashi, I. J. Bacteriol. (1993) [Pubmed]
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