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Double-strand break repair mechanisms in Escherichia coli: recent insights

Authors Đermić D

Received 16 October 2014

Accepted for publication 3 December 2014

Published 9 January 2015 Volume 2015:5 Pages 35—42


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr John Martignetti

Damir Ðermić

Ruđer Bošković Institute, Division of Molecular Biology, Zagreb, Croatia

Abstract: In order to survive, all organisms must repair the continuous appearance of double-strand breaks (DSBs) in their DNA. Escherichia coli does this by RecA-dependent homologous recombination (HR), during which the RecA protein is assembled on a 3´-terminated overhang that is created by a process called DNA end resection. The RecA nucleoprotein filament searches for and invades an intact homologous DNA sequence, creating a central HR intermediate. This review describes recent insights into HR and DSB repair in E. coli, especially the processes that precede the formation of a RecA nucleoprotein filament, with an emphasis on the regulation of 3´-tail metabolism. Since HR is a highly conserved process, the parallels to DSB repair in eukaryotic systems are discussed, bearing in mind that the lessons learned from studies in simpler bacterial models may be useful for studying DSB repair and the maintenance of genome stability in eukaryotes.

Keywords: RecA nucleoprotein filament, homologous recombination, exonucleases, genome stability, 3´-overhang metabolism

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