Molecule of the Month: RecA and Rad51
Broken DNA strands may be repaired by matching sequences in a duplicate copy of the DNA
RecA in Action
Exploring the Structure
Rad51 and BRCA2 (PDB entries 1n0w, 1pzn and 1szp)
Mutations in the process of homologous recombination have dangerous effects on the health of the cell. For instance, the huge protein BRCA2, shown here in green (PDB entries 1miu and 1n0w ), was discovered through its connection to breast cancer. BRCA2 binds to DNA and also has eight binding sites for Rad51, and it assists with the assembly of the filament around damaged DNA. PDB entry 1n0w includes a Rad51 subunit bound to one of these BRCA2 binding sequences. To take a closer look at this structure and compare it to other Rad51 structures (PDB entries 1pzn and 1szp ), click on the image for an interactive Jmol.
Topics for Further Discussion
- Structures for Rad51 and several related molecules are available in the PDB. You can start with the structure of Rad51 filament in PDB entry 1szp, and then use the "Sequence Similarity" tab to find related proteins.
- You can explore structures of RecA bound to a single-stranded DNA in PDB entries 3cmw and 3cmu.
Related PDB-101 Resources
- Browse Protein Synthesis
- Browse Cancer
- Browse Nucleic Acids
- D. B. Wigley (2013) Bacterial DNA repair: recent insights into the mechanism of RecBCD, AddAB and AdnAB. Nature Reviews Microbiology 11, 9-13.
- W. K. Holloman (2011) Unraveling the mechanism of BRCA2 in homologous recombination. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology 18, 748-754.
- 3cmx: Z. Chen, H. Yang & N. P. Pavletich (2008) Mechanism of homologous recombination from the RecA-ssDNA/dsDNA structures. Nature 453, 489-494.
- 1szp: A. B. Conway, T. W. Lynch, Y. Zhang, G. S. Fortin, C. W. Fung, L. S. Symington & P. A. Rice (2004) Crystal structure of a Rad51 filament. Nature Structural and Molecular Biology 11, 791-796.
- 1w36: M. R. Singleton, M. S. Dillingham, M. Gaudier, S. C. Kowalczykowski & D. B. Wigley (2004) Crystal structure of RecBCD enzyme reveals a machine for processing DNA breaks. Nature 432, 187-193.
- 1pzn: D. S. Shin, L. Pellegrini, D. S. Daniels, B. Yelent, L. Craig, D. Bates, D. S. Yu, M. K., Shivji, C. Hitomi, A. S. Arvai, N. Volkmann, H. Tsuruta, T. L. Blundell, A. R. Venkitaraman & J. A. Tainer (2003) Full-length archaeal Rad51 structure and mutants: mechanisms for RAD51 assembly and control by BRCA2. EMBO Journal 22, 4566- 4576.
- 1n0w: L. Pellegrini, D. S. Yu, T. Lo, S. Anand, M. Lee, T. L. Blundell & A. R. Venkitaraman (2002) Insights into DNA recombination from the structure of a RAD51- BRCA2 complex. Nature 420, 287-293.
- 1miu: H. Yang, P. D. Jeffrey, J. Miller, E. Kinnucan, Y. Sun, N. H. Thoma, N. Zheng, P. L. Chen, W. H. Lee & N. P. Pavletich (2002) BRCA2 function in DNA binding and recombination from a BRCA2-DSS1-ssDNA structure. Science 297, 1837-1848.
April 2014, David Goodsellhttp://doi.org/10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2014_4