Regulation of bacterial RecA protein function

Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Jan-Feb;42(1):41-63. doi: 10.1080/10409230701260258.


The RecA protein is a recombinase functioning in recombinational DNA repair in bacteria. RecA is regulated at many levels. The expression of the recA gene is regulated within the SOS response. The activity of the RecA protein itself is autoregulated by its own C-terminus. RecA is also regulated by the action of other proteins. To date, these include the RecF, RecO, RecR, DinI, RecX, RdgC, PsiB, and UvrD proteins. The SSB protein also indirectly affects RecA function by competing for ssDNA binding sites. The RecO and RecR, and possibly the RecF proteins, all facilitate RecA loading onto SSB-coated ssDNA. The RecX protein blocks RecA filament extension, and may have other effects on RecA activity. The DinI protein stabilizes RecA filaments. The RdgC protein binds to dsDNA and blocks RecA access to dsDNA. The PsiB protein, encoded by F plasmids, is uncharacterized, but may inhibit RecA in some manner. The UvrD helicase removes RecA filaments from RecA. All of these proteins function in a network that determines where and how RecA functions. Additional regulatory proteins may remain to be discovered. The elaborate regulatory pattern is likely to be reprised for RecA homologues in archaeans and eukaryotes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA Helicases / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / chemistry
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism
  • Exodeoxyribonuclease V / genetics
  • Exodeoxyribonuclease V / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Rec A Recombinases / genetics
  • Rec A Recombinases / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DinI protein, E coli
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • PsiB protein, Bacteria
  • RdgC protein, E coli
  • RecO protein, E coli
  • RecX protein, Xanthomonas campestris
  • SSB protein, E coli
  • RecR protein, Bacteria
  • recF protein, Bacteria
  • Rec A Recombinases
  • Exodeoxyribonuclease V
  • UvrD protein, E coli
  • DNA Helicases