Summary: recA bacterial DNA recombination protein
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|recA bacterial DNA recombination protein|
RecA is a 38 kilodalton protein essential for the repair and maintenance of DNA. A RecA structural and functional homolog has been found in every species in which one has been seriously sought and serves as an archetype for this class of homologous DNA repair proteins. The homologous protein is called RAD51 in eukaryotes and RadA in archaea.
RecA's association with DNA major is based on its central role in homologous recombination. The RecA protein binds strongly and in long clusters to ssDNA to form a nucleoprotein filament. The protein has more than one DNA binding site, and thus can hold a single strand and double strand together. This feature makes it possible to catalyze a DNA synapsis reaction between a DNA double helix and a complementary region of single stranded DNA. The RecA-ssDNA filament searches for sequence similarity along the dsDNA. The search process induces stretching of the DNA duplex, which enhances sequence complimentarity recognition (a mechanism termed conformational proofreading  ). The reaction initiates the exchange of strands between two recombining DNA double helices. After the synapsis event, in the heteroduplex region a process called branch migration begins. In branch migration an unpaired region of one of the single strands displaces a paired region of the other single strand, moving the branch point without changing the total number of base pairs. Spontaneous branch migration can occur, however as it generally proceeds equally in both directions it is unlikely to complete recombination efficiently. The RecA protein catalyzes unidirectional branch migration and by doing so makes it possible to complete recombination, producing a region of heteroduplex DNA that is thousands of base pairs long.
E. coli strains deficient in RecA are useful for cloning procedures in molecular biology laboratories. E. coli strains are often genetically modified to contain a mutant recA allele and thereby ensure the stability of extrachromosomal segments of DNA, known as plasmids. In a process called transformation, plasmid DNA is taken up by the bacteria under a variety of conditions. Bacteria containing exogenous plasmids are called "transformants". Transformants retain the plasmid throughout cell divisions such that it can be recovered and used in other applications. Without functional RecA protein, the exogenous plasmid DNA is left unaltered by the bacteria. Purification of this plasmid from bacterial cultures can then allow high-fidelity PCR amplification of the original plasmid sequence.
Potential as a drug target
Wigle and Singleton at the University of North Carolina have shown that small molecules interfering with RecA function in the cell may be useful in the creation of new antibiotic drugs. Since many antibiotics lead to DNA damage, and all bacteria rely on RecA to fix this damage, inhibitors of RecA could be used to enhance the toxicity of antibiotics. Additionally the activities of RecA are synonymous with antibiotic resistance development, and inhibitors of RecA may also serve to delay or prevent the appearance of bacterial drug resistance.
Role of RecA in natural transformation
Based on analysis of the molecular properties of the RecA system, Cox concluded that the data “provide compelling evidence that the primary mission of RecA protein is DNA repair.” In a further essay on the function of the RecA protein, Cox summarized data demonstrating that “RecA protein evolved as the central component of a recombinational DNA repair system, with the generation of genetic diversity as a sometimes useful byproduct.”
Natural bacterial transformation involves the transfer of DNA from one bacterium to another (ordinarily of the same species) and the integration of the donor DNA into the recipient chromosome by homologous recombination, a process mediated by the RecA protein (see Transformation (genetics)). Transformation, in which RecA plays a central role, depends on expression of numerous additional gene products (e.g. about 40 gene products in Bacillus subtilis) that specifically interact to carry out this process indicating that it is an evolved adaptation for DNA transfer. In B. subtilis the length of the transferred DNA can be as great as a third and up to the size of the whole chromosome. In order for a bacterium to bind, take up and recombine exogenous DNA into its chromosome, it must first enter a special physiological state termed “competence” (see Natural competence). Transformation is common in the prokaryotic world, and thus far 67 species are known to be competent for transformation.
One of the most well studied transformation systems is that of B. subtilis. In this bacterium, the RecA protein interacts with the incoming single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) to form striking filamentous structures. These RecA/ssDNA filaments emanate from the cell pole containing the competence machinery and extend into the cytosol. The RecA/ssDNA filamentous threads are considered to be dynamic nucleofilaments that scan the resident chromosome for regions of homology. This process brings the incoming DNA to the corresponding site in the B. subtilis chromosome where informational exchange occurs.
Michod et al. have reviewed evidence that RecA-mediated transformation is an adaptation for homologous recombinational repair of DNA damage in B. subtilis, as well as in several other bacterial species (i.e. Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Hemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus mutans and Helicobacter pylori). In the case of the pathogenic species that infect humans, it was proposed that RecA-mediated repair of DNA damages may be of substantial benefit when these bacteria are challenged by the oxidative defenses of their host.
- Chen, Z.; Yang, H.; Pavletich, N. P. (2008). "Mechanism of homologous recombination from the RecA–ssDNA/dsDNA structures". Nature 453 (7194): 489–484. doi:10.1038/nature06971. PMID 18497818.
- Horii T.; Ogawa T. & Ogawa H. (1980). "Organization of the recA gene of Escherichia coli.". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 77 (1): 313–317. doi:10.1073/pnas.77.1.313. PMC 348260. PMID 6244554.
- Horii T.; Ogawa T.; Nakatani T.; Hase T.; Matsubara H. & Ogawa H. (1981). "Regulation of SOS functions: Purification of E. coli LexA protein and determination of its specific site cleaved by the RecA protein.". Cell 27 (3): 515–522. doi:10.1016/0092-8674(81)90393-7. PMID 6101204.
- Little JW (1984). "Autodigestion of lexA and phage lambda repressors". Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 81 (5): 1375–1379. doi:10.1073/pnas.81.5.1375. PMC 344836. PMID 6231641.
- Savir Y & Tlusty T (2010). "RecA-mediated homology search as a nearly optimal signal detection system". Molecular Cell 40 (3): 388–96. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2010.10.020. PMID 21070965.
- De Vlaminck I, van Loenhout MT, Zweifel L, den Blanken J, Hooning K, Hage S, Kerssemakers J, Dekker C (2012). "Mechanism of Homology Recognition in DNA Recombination from Dual-Molecule Experiments". Molecular Cell 46 (5): 616–624. doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2012.03.029. PMID 22560720.
- Wigle TJ, Singleton SF (June 2007). "Directed molecular screening for RecA ATPase inhibitors". Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 17 (12): 3249–53. doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2007.04.013. PMC 1933586. PMID 17499507.
- Cox MM (June 1991). "The RecA protein as a recombinational repair system". Mol. Microbiol. 5 (6): 1295–9. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.1991.tb00775.x. PMID 1787786.
- Cox MM (September 1993). "Relating biochemistry to biology: how the recombinational repair function of RecA protein is manifested in its molecular properties". BioEssays 15 (9): 617–23. doi:10.1002/bies.950150908. PMID 8240315.
- Akamatsu T, Taguchi H (April 2001). "Incorporation of the whole chromosomal DNA in protoplast lysates into competent cells of Bacillus subtilis". Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 65 (4): 823–9. doi:10.1271/bbb.65.823. PMID 11388459.
- Saito Y, Taguchi H, Akamatsu T (March 2006). "Fate of transforming bacterial genome following incorporation into competent cells of Bacillus subtilis: a continuous length of incorporated DNA". J. Biosci. Bioeng. 101 (3): 257–62. doi:10.1263/jbb.101.257. PMID 16716928.
- Johnsborg O, Eldholm V, Håvarstein LS (December 2007). "Natural genetic transformation: prevalence, mechanisms and function". Res. Microbiol. 158 (10): 767–78. doi:10.1016/j.resmic.2007.09.004. PMID 17997281.
- Kidane D, Graumann PL (July 2005). "Intracellular protein and DNA dynamics in competent Bacillus subtilis cells". Cell 122 (1): 73–84. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2005.04.036. PMID 16009134.
- Michod RE, Bernstein H, Nedelcu AM (May 2008). "Adaptive value of sex in microbial pathogens". Infect. Genet. Evol. 8 (3): 267–85. doi:10.1016/j.meegid.2008.01.002. PMID 18295550.
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recA bacterial DNA recombination protein Provide feedback
RecA is a DNA-dependent ATPase and functions in DNA repair systems. RecA protein catalyses an ATP-dependent DNA strand-exchange reaction that is the central step in the repair of dsDNA breaks by homologous recombination .
External database links
|HOMSTRAD:||recA recA_C recA_N|
This tab holds annotation information from the InterPro database.
InterPro entry IPR013765
The recA gene product is a multifunctional enzyme that plays a role in homologous recombination, DNA repair and induction of the SOS response [PUBMED:1896024]. In homologous recombination, the protein functions as a DNA-dependent ATPase, promoting synapsis, heteroduplex formation and strand exchange between homologous DNAs [PUBMED:1896024]. RecA also acts as a protease cofactor that promotes autodigestion of the lexA product and phage repressors. The proteolytic inactivation of the lexA repressor by an activated form of recA may cause a derepression of the 20 or so genes involved in the SOS response, which regulates DNA repair, induced mutagenesis, delayed cell division and prophage induction in response to DNA damage [PUBMED:1896024].
RecA is a protein of about 350 amino-acid residues. Its sequence is very well conserved [PUBMED:9187054, PUBMED:7592482, PUBMED:8587109] among eubacterial species. It is also found in the chloroplast of plants [PUBMED:1518831]. RecA-like proteins are found in archaea and diverse eukaryotic organisms, like fission yeast, mouse or human. In the filament visualised by X-ray crystallography, beta-strand 3, the loop C-terminal to beta-strand 2, and alpha-helix D of the core domain form one surface that packs against alpha-helix A and beta-strand 0 (the N-terminal domain) of an adjacent monomer during polymerisation [PUBMED:12045091]. The core ATP-binding site domain is well conserved, with 14 invariant residues. It contains the nucleotide binding loop between beta-strand 1 and alpha-helix C. The Escherichia coli sequence GPESSGKT matches the consensus sequence of amino acids (G/A)XXXXGK(T/S) for the Walker A box (also referred to as the P-loop) found in a number of nucleoside triphosphate (NTP)-binding proteins. Another nucleotide binding motif, the Walker B box is found at beta-strand 4 in the RecA structure. The Walker B box is characterised by four hydrophobic amino acids followed by an acidic residue (usually aspartate). Nucleotide specificity and additional ATP binding interactions are contributed by the amino acid residues at beta-strand 2 and the loop C-terminal to that strand, all of which are greater than 90% conserved among bacterial RecA proteins.
The mapping between Pfam and Gene Ontology is provided by InterPro. If you use this data please cite InterPro.
|Molecular function||single-stranded DNA binding (GO:0003697)|
|ATP binding (GO:0005524)|
|Biological process||DNA repair (GO:0006281)|
|SOS response (GO:0009432)|
Below is a listing of the unique domain organisations or architectures in which this domain is found. More...
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AAA family proteins often perform chaperone-like functions that assist in the assembly, operation, or disassembly of protein complexes .
The clan contains the following 199 members:6PF2K AAA AAA-ATPase_like AAA_10 AAA_11 AAA_12 AAA_13 AAA_14 AAA_15 AAA_16 AAA_17 AAA_18 AAA_19 AAA_2 AAA_21 AAA_22 AAA_23 AAA_24 AAA_25 AAA_26 AAA_27 AAA_28 AAA_29 AAA_3 AAA_30 AAA_31 AAA_32 AAA_33 AAA_34 AAA_35 AAA_5 AAA_6 AAA_7 AAA_8 AAA_PrkA ABC_ATPase ABC_tran Adeno_IVa2 Adenylsucc_synt ADK AFG1_ATPase AIG1 APS_kinase Arf ArgK ArsA_ATPase ATP-synt_ab ATP_bind_1 ATP_bind_2 ATPase ATPase_2 Bac_DnaA CbiA CBP_BcsQ CDC73_C CLP1_P CMS1 CoaE CobA_CobO_BtuR CobU cobW CPT CTP_synth_N Cytidylate_kin Cytidylate_kin2 DAP3 DEAD DEAD_2 DLIC DNA_pack_C DNA_pack_N DNA_pol3_delta DNA_pol3_delta2 DnaB_C dNK DUF1611 DUF2075 DUF2326 DUF2478 DUF258 DUF2791 DUF2813 DUF3584 DUF463 DUF815 DUF853 DUF87 DUF927 Dynamin_N ERCC3_RAD25_C Exonuc_V_gamma FeoB_N Fer4_NifH Flavi_DEAD FTHFS FtsK_SpoIIIE G-alpha Gal-3-0_sulfotr GBP GTP_EFTU Gtr1_RagA Guanylate_kin GvpD HDA2-3 Helicase_C Helicase_C_2 Helicase_C_4 Helicase_RecD Herpes_Helicase Herpes_ori_bp Herpes_TK Hydin_ADK IIGP IPPT IPT IstB_IS21 KAP_NTPase KdpD Kinesin KTI12 Lon_2 LpxK MCM MEDS Mg_chelatase Microtub_bd MipZ MMR_HSR1 MobB MukB MutS_V Myosin_head NACHT NB-ARC NOG1 NTPase_1 NTPase_P4 ParA Parvo_NS1 PAXNEB PduV-EutP PhoH PIF1 Podovirus_Gp16 Polyoma_lg_T_C Pox_A32 PPK2 PPV_E1_C PRK Rad17 Rad51 Ras RecA ResIII RHD3 RHSP RNA12 RNA_helicase Roc RuvB_N SbcCD_C SecA_DEAD Septin Sigma54_activ_2 Sigma54_activat SKI SMC_N SNF2_N Spore_IV_A SRP54 SRPRB SulA Sulfotransfer_1 Sulfotransfer_2 Sulfotransfer_3 Sulphotransf T2SSE T4SS-DNA_transf Terminase_1 Terminase_3 Terminase_6 Terminase_GpA Thymidylate_kin TIP49 TK TniB Torsin TraG-D_C tRNA_lig_kinase TrwB_AAD_bind TsaE UvrD-helicase UvrD_C UvrD_C_2 Viral_helicase1 VirC1 VirE Zeta_toxin Zot
We store a range of different sequence alignments for families. As well as the seed alignment from which the family is built, we provide the full alignment, generated by searching the sequence database (reference proteomes) using the family HMM. We also generate alignments using four representative proteomes (RP) sets, the UniProtKB sequence database, the NCBI sequence database, and our metagenomics sequence database. More...
There are various ways to view or download the sequence alignments that we store. We provide several sequence viewers and a plain-text Stockholm-format file for download.
We make a range of alignments for each Pfam-A family:
- the curated alignment from which the HMM for the family is built
- the alignment generated by searching the sequence database using the HMM
- Representative Proteomes (RPs) at 15%, 35%, 55% and 75% co-membership thresholds
- alignment generated by searching the UniProtKB sequence database using the family HMM
- alignment generated by searching the NCBI sequence database using the family HMM
- alignment generated by searching the metagenomics sequence database using the family HMM
You can see the alignments as HTML or in three different sequence viewers:
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You can download (or view in your browser) a text representation of a Pfam alignment in various formats:
You can also change the order in which sequences are listed in the alignment, change how insertions are represented, alter the characters that are used to represent gaps in sequences and, finally, choose whether to download the alignment or to view it in your browser directly.
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We make a range of alignments for each Pfam-A family. You can see a description of each above. You can view these alignments in various ways but please note that some types of alignment are never generated while others may not be available for all families, most commonly because the alignments are too large to handle.
1Cannot generate PP/Heatmap alignments for seeds; no PP data available
Key: available, not generated, — not available.
Format an alignment
We make all of our alignments available in Stockholm format. You can download them here as raw, plain text files or as gzip-compressed files.
You can also download a FASTA format file containing the full-length sequences for all sequences in the full alignment.
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This page displays the phylogenetic tree for this family's seed alignment. We use FastTree to calculate neighbour join trees with a local bootstrap based on 100 resamples (shown next to the tree nodes). FastTree calculates approximately-maximum-likelihood phylogenetic trees from our seed alignment.
Note: You can also download the data file for the tree.
Curation and family details
This section shows the detailed information about the Pfam family. You can see the definitions of many of the terms in this section in the glossary and a fuller explanation of the scoring system that we use in the scores section of the help pages.
|Number in seed:||15|
|Number in full:||3180|
|Average length of the domain:||248.60 aa|
|Average identity of full alignment:||62 %|
|Average coverage of the sequence by the domain:||70.78 %|
|HMM build commands:||
build method: hmmbuild -o /dev/null HMM SEED
search method: hmmsearch -Z 17690987 -E 1000 --cpu 4 HMM pfamseq
|Family (HMM) version:||19|
|Download:||download the raw HMM for this family|
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This visualisation provides a simple graphical representation of the distribution of this family across species. You can find the original interactive tree in the More....
This chart is a modified "sunburst" visualisation of the species tree for this family. It shows each node in the tree as a separate arc, arranged radially with the superkingdoms at the centre and the species arrayed around the outermost ring.
How the sunburst is generated
The tree is built by considering the taxonomic lineage of each sequence that has a match to this family. For each node in the resulting tree, we draw an arc in the sunburst. The radius of the arc, its distance from the root node at the centre of the sunburst, shows the taxonomic level ("superkingdom", "kingdom", etc). The length of the arc represents either the number of sequences represented at a given level, or the number of species that are found beneath the node in the tree. The weighting scheme can be changed using the sunburst controls.
In order to reduce the complexity of the representation, we reduce the number of taxonomic levels that we show. We consider only the following eight major taxonomic levels:
Colouring and labels
Segments of the tree are coloured approximately according to their superkingdom. For example, archeal branches are coloured with shades of orange, eukaryotes in shades of purple, etc. The colour assignments are shown under the sunburst controls. Where space allows, the name of the taxonomic level will be written on the arc itself.
As you move your mouse across the sunburst, the current node will be highlighted. In the top section of the controls panel we show a summary of the lineage of the currently highlighed node. If you pause over an arc, a tooltip will be shown, giving the name of the taxonomic level in the title and a summary of the number of sequences and species below that node in the tree.
Anomalies in the taxonomy tree
There are some situations that the sunburst tree cannot easily handle and for which we have work-arounds in place.
Missing taxonomic levels
Some species in the taxonomic tree may not have one or more of the main eight levels that we display. For example, Bos taurus is not assigned an order in the NCBI taxonomic tree. In such cases we mark the omitted level with, for example, "No order", in both the tooltip and the lineage summary.
Unmapped species names
The tree is built by looking at each sequence in the full alignment for the family. We take the name of the species given by UniProt and try to map that to the full taxonomic tree from NCBI. In some cases, the name chosen by UniProt does not map to any node in the NCBI tree, perhaps because the chosen name is listed as a synonym or a misspelling in the NCBI taxonomy.
So that these nodes are not simply omitted from the sunburst tree, we group them together in a separate branch (or segment of the sunburst tree). Since we cannot determine the lineage for these unmapped species, we show all levels between the superkingdom and the species as "uncategorised".
Since we reduce the species tree to only the eight main taxonomic levels, sequences that are mapped to the sub-species level in the tree would not normally be shown. Rather than leave out these species, we map them instead to their parent species. So, for example, for sequences belonging to one of the Vibrio cholerae sub-species in the NCBI taxonomy, we show them instead as belonging to the species Vibrio cholerae.
Too many species/sequences
For large species trees, you may see blank regions in the outer layers of the sunburst. These occur when there are large numbers of arcs to be drawn in a small space. If an arc is less than approximately one pixel wide, it will not be drawn and the space will be left blank. You may still be able to get some information about the species in that region by moving your mouse across the area, but since each arc will be very small, it will be difficult to accurately locate a particular species.
The tree shows the occurrence of this domain across different species. More...
We show the species tree in one of two ways. For smaller trees we try to show an interactive representation, which allows you to select specific nodes in the tree and view them as an alignment or as a set of Pfam domain graphics.
Unfortunately we have found that there are problems viewing the interactive tree when the it becomes larger than a certain limit. Furthermore, we have found that Internet Explorer can become unresponsive when viewing some trees, regardless of their size. We therefore show a text representation of the species tree when the size is above a certain limit or if you are using Internet Explorer to view the site.
If you are using IE you can still load the interactive tree by clicking the "Generate interactive tree" button, but please be aware of the potential problems that the interactive species tree can cause.
For all of the domain matches in a full alignment, we count the number that are found on all sequences in the alignment. This total is shown in the purple box.
We also count the number of unique sequences on which each domain is found, which is shown in green. Note that a domain may appear multiple times on the same sequence, leading to the difference between these two numbers.
Finally, we group sequences from the same organism according to the NCBI code that is assigned by UniProt, allowing us to count the number of distinct sequences on which the domain is found. This value is shown in the pink boxes.
We use the NCBI species tree to group organisms according to their taxonomy and this forms the structure of the displayed tree. Note that in some cases the trees are too large (have too many nodes) to allow us to build an interactive tree, but in most cases you can still view the tree in a plain text, non-interactive representation. Those species which are represented in the seed alignment for this domain are highlighted.
You can use the tree controls to manipulate how the interactive tree is displayed:
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Please note: for large trees this can take some time. While the tree is loading, you can safely switch away from this tab but if you browse away from the family page entirely, the tree will not be loaded.
There is 1 interaction for this family. More...
We determine these interactions using iPfam, which considers the interactions between residues in three-dimensional protein structures and maps those interactions back to Pfam families. You can find more information about the iPfam algorithm in the journal article that accompanies the website.
For those sequences which have a structure in the Protein DataBank, we use the mapping between UniProt, PDB and Pfam coordinate systems from the PDBe group, to allow us to map Pfam domains onto UniProt sequences and three-dimensional protein structures. The table below shows the structures on which the RecA domain has been found. There are 103 instances of this domain found in the PDB. Note that there may be multiple copies of the domain in a single PDB structure, since many structures contain multiple copies of the same protein seqence.
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