After UV doses that disrupt DNA replication, the recovery of replication at replication forks in Escherichia coli requires a functional copy of the recF gene. In recF mutants, replication fails to recover and extensive degradation of the nascent DNA occurs, suggesting that recF function is needed to stabilize the disrupted replication forks and facilitate the process of recovery. We show here that the ability of recF to promote the recovery of replication requires that the disrupting lesions be removed. In the absence of excision repair, recF+ cells protect the nascent DNA at replication forks, but replication does not resume. The classical view is that recombination proteins operate in pathways that are independent from DNA repair, and therefore the functions of Rec proteins have been studied in repair-deficient cells. However, mutations in either uvr or recF result in failure to recover replication at UV doses from which wild-type cells recover efficiently, suggesting that recF and excision repair contribute to a common pathway in the recovery of replication
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