Rad52-mediated DNA annealing after Rad51-mediated DNA strand exchange promotes second ssDNA capture

EMBO J. 2006 Nov 29;25(23):5539-48. doi: 10.1038/sj.emboj.7601412. Epub 2006 Nov 9.


Rad51, Rad52, and RPA play central roles in homologous DNA recombination. Rad51 mediates DNA strand exchange, a key reaction in DNA recombination. Rad52 has two distinct activities: to recruit Rad51 onto single-strand (ss)DNA that is complexed with the ssDNA-binding protein, RPA, and to anneal complementary ssDNA complexed with RPA. Here, we report that Rad52 promotes annealing of the ssDNA strand that is displaced by DNA strand exchange by Rad51 and RPA, to a second ssDNA strand. An RPA that is recombination-deficient (RPA(rfa1-t11)) failed to support annealing, explaining its in vivo phenotype. Escherichia coli RecO and SSB proteins, which are functional homologues of Rad52 and RPA, also facilitated the same reaction, demonstrating its conserved nature. We also demonstrate that the two activities of Rad52, recruiting Rad51 and annealing DNA, are coordinated in DNA strand exchange and second ssDNA capture.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Single-Stranded / genetics*
  • Mutation
  • Rad51 Recombinase / metabolism*
  • Rad52 DNA Repair and Recombination Protein / metabolism*
  • Recombination, Genetic* / genetics
  • Replication Protein A / genetics
  • Replication Protein A / metabolism*


  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • Rad52 DNA Repair and Recombination Protein
  • Replication Protein A
  • Rad51 Recombinase