Homologous recombination and the roles of double-strand breaks

Trends Biochem Sci. 1995 Oct;20(10):387-91. doi: 10.1016/s0968-0004(00)89085-4.


Double-strand breaks (DSBs) and single-strand gaps in damaged DNA are efficiently repaired by mechanisms associated with recombination. Recombination is a series of complex biochemical reactions, requiring at least 20 gene products, even in Escherichia coli. Genes homologous to bacterial and yeast recombination genes have been cloned in higher eukaryotes, suggesting there might be a common fundamental mechanism of recombination among a wide variety of species. In eukaryotes, protein-protein interactions play important roles in recombination: by interacting with a specific protein(s), the complex involved in repair of DSBs is modified to carry out specialized cellular functions, such as meiotic recombination and switching of mating types in yeast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Meiosis
  • Mitosis
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Mutation
  • Rad51 Recombinase
  • Rad52 DNA Repair and Recombination Protein
  • Recombination, Genetic*


  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • RAD52 protein, human
  • Rad52 DNA Repair and Recombination Protein
  • DNA
  • RAD51 protein, human
  • Rad51 Recombinase