Tuesday, September 11, 2007

RecA and DNA Repair

This linked EurekAlert article New mechanism discovered for DNA recombination and repair, references two papers related to the RecA protein family; one a PLOS ONE paper and the other appearing in Nucleic Acids Research. The following quote (in blue letters) is taken from the linked article:

"RecA family proteins are the central recombinases for HR. The family includes prokaryotic RecA, archaeal RadA, and eukaryotic Rad51 and Dmc1. They have important roles in cell proliferation, genome maintenance, and genetic diversity, particularly in higher eukaryotes. For example, Rad51-deficient vertebrate cells accumulate chromosomal breaks before death. Rad51 and its meiosis-specific homolog, Dmc1, are also indispensable for meiosis, a specialized cell cycle for production of gametes. Mammalian Rad51 and Dmc1 proteins are known to interact with tumor suppressor proteins such as BRCA2.

Since scientists discovered RecA family proteins, it has been assumed that RecA (and other homologs) forms only 61 right-handed filaments (six protein monomers per helical turn), and then hydrolyzes ATP to promote HR and recombinational DNA repair. Whereas a controversial puzzle came out, how the energy of ATP facilitating DNA rotation during the strand exchange reaction."

Mike Gene has blogged about RecA at Telic Thoughts. RecA has an important role in DNA recombination and repair. DNA repair, in turn, is an important consideration for intelligent design.



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