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  • RecA is a 38 kilodalton protein essential for the repair and maintenance of DNA. A RecA structural and functional homolog has been found in every species in which one has been seriously sought and serves as an archetype for this class of homologous DNA repair proteins. The homologous protein in Homo sapiens is called RAD51. RecA has multiple activities, all related to DNA repair. In the bacterial SOS response, it has a co-protease function in the autocatalytic cleavage of the LexA repressor and the λ repressor. RecA's association with DNA major is based on its central role in homologous recombination. The RecA protein binds strongly and in long clusters to ssDNA to form a nucleoprotein filament. The protein has more than one DNA binding site, and thus can hold a single strand and double strand together. This feature makes it possible to catalyze a DNA synapsis reaction between a DNA double helix and a complementary region of single stranded DNA. The RecA-ssDNA filament searches for sequence similarity along the dsDNA. The search process induces stretching of the DNA duplex, which enhances sequence complimentarity recognition.

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