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.
April 2014, David Goodselldoi:10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2014_4