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Roles of RecA protease and recombinase activities of Escherichia coli in spontaneous and UV-induced mutagenesis and in Weigle repair.

By E S Tessman, I Tessman, P K Peterson and J D Forestal


The RecA protein has a second, direct role in the mutagenesis of Escherichia coli and bacteriophage lambda in addition to its first, indirect role of inducing the SOS system by enhancing the proteolytic cleavage of the LexA repressor protein. The need for RecA protease and recombinase functions in the direct role was examined in cells containing split-phenotype RecA mutations, in the absence of LexA protein. Spontaneous mutation of E. coli (his----his+) required both the protease and recombinase activities. The mutation frequency increased with increasing RecA protease strength. In contrast, UV-induced mutation of E. coli required only the RecA protease activity. Weigle repair and mutation of UV-irradiated phage S13 required only RecA protease activity, and even weak activity was highly effective; RecA recombinase activity was not required. RecA+ protein inhibited RecA (Prtc [protease constitutive] Rec+) protein in effecting spontaneous mutation of E. coli. We discuss the nature of the direct role of the RecA protein in spontaneous mutation and in repair and mutagenesis of UV-damaged DNA and also the implications of our results for the theory that SOS-mutable cryptic lesions might be responsible for the enhanced spontaneous mutation in Prtc Rec+ strains

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1986
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.168.3.1159-1164.1986
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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