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Bonné, L, Bigot, S, Chevalier, F, Allemand, JF and Barre, FX (2009) Asymmetric DNA requirements in Xer recombination activation by FtsK. Nucleic Acids Res. 37:2371-80


In bacteria with circular chromosomes, homologous recombination events can lead to the formation of chromosome dimers. In Escherichia coli, chromosome dimers are resolved by the addition of a crossover by two tyrosine recombinases, XerC and XerD, at a specific site on the chromosome, dif. Recombination depends on a direct contact between XerD and a cell division protein, FtsK, which functions as a hexameric double stranded DNA translocase. Here, we have investigated how the structure and composition of DNA interferes with Xer recombination activation by FtsK. XerC and XerD each cleave a specific strand on dif, the top and bottom strand, respectively. We found that the integrity and nature of eight bottom-strand nucleotides and three top-strand nucleotides immediately adjacent to the XerD-binding site of dif are crucial for recombination. These nucleotides are probably not implicated in FtsK translocation since FtsK could translocate on single stranded DNA in both the 5'-3' and 3'-5' orientation along a few nucleotides. We propose that they are required to stabilize FtsK in the vicinity of dif for recombination to occur because the FtsK-XerD interaction is too transient or too weak in itself to allow for XerD catalysis.


PubMed PMC2673442 Online version:10.1093/nar/gkp104


Base Sequence; DNA Helicases/metabolism; DNA, Bacterial/chemistry; DNA, Bacterial/metabolism; Escherichia coli/enzymology; Escherichia coli/genetics; Escherichia coli Proteins/metabolism; Integrases/metabolism; Membrane Proteins/metabolism; Nucleotides/chemistry; Nucleotides/metabolism; Recombination, Genetic



Gene product Qualifier GO Term Evidence Code with/from Aspect Extension Notes Status



GO:0015616: DNA translocase activity

ECO:0000314: direct assay evidence used in manual assertion


Seeded From UniProt


See also


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