Author(s): Ellis HM, Yu D, DiTizio T, Court DL
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Abstract Homologous DNA recombination is a fundamental, regenerative process within living organisms. However, in most organisms, homologous recombination is a rare event, requiring a complex set of reactions and extensive homology. We demonstrate in this paper that Beta protein of phage lambda generates recombinants in chromosomal DNA by using synthetic single-stranded DNAs (ssDNA) as short as 30 bases long. This ssDNA recombination can be used to mutagenize or repair the chromosome with efficiencies that generate up to 6\% recombinants among treated cells. Mechanistically, it appears that Beta protein, a Rad52-like protein, binds and anneals the ssDNA donor to a complementary single-strand near the DNA replication fork to generate the recombinant. This type of homologous recombination with ssDNA provides new avenues for studying and modifying genomes ranging from bacterial pathogens to eukaryotes. Beta protein and ssDNA may prove generally applicable for repairing DNA in many organisms.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Advancements in Genetic Engineering