Indexed on: 27 Aug '13Published on: 27 Aug '13Published in: Journal of Biological Chemistry
Escherichia coli RecN is an SMC (structural maintenance of chromosomes) family protein that is required for DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair. Previous studies show that GFP-RecN forms nucleoid-associated foci in response to DNA damage, but the mechanism by which RecN is recruited to the nucleoid is unknown. Here, we show that the assembly of GFP-RecN foci on the nucleoid in response to DNA damage involves a functional interaction between RecN and RecA. A novel RecA allele identified in this work, recA(Q300R), is proficient in SOS induction and repair of UV-induced DNA damage, but is deficient in repair of mitomycin C (MMC)-induced DNA damage. Cells carrying recA(Q300R) fail to recruit RecN to DSBs and accumulate fragmented chromosomes after exposure to MMC. The ATPase-deficient RecN(K35A) binds and forms foci at MMC-induced DSBs, but is not released from the MMC-induced DNA lesions, resulting in a defect in homologous recombination-dependent DSB repair. These data suggest that RecN plays a crucial role in homologous recombination-dependent DSB repair and that it is required upstream of RecA-mediated strand exchange.