S phase specific formation of the human Rad51 protein nuclear foci in lymphocytes

Oncogene. 1996 May 16;12(10):2165-70.


The Rad51 protein, which is a homologue of the bacterial RecA protein, is involved in mitotic and meiotic recombination and in repair of double-strand breaks of DNA in yeast. The Rad51 homologue is conserved from yeast to human. In this study, the Rad51 protein was shown to be induced in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) 36 h after phytohemagglutinin (PHA) stimulation. Immunofluorescence study revealed that the distribution of the Rad51 protein in the nucleus was not uniform and focus-like staining was observed. Formation of the Rad51 foci was induced at 36 h after treatment of the cells with PHA. Twenty five percent of the cells had the foci at this time and the number of cells with foci declined thereafter. Cell cycle study using laser microscope by double staining method suggested that the appearance of the Rad51 nuclear foci was S phase specific. Furthermore, double staining study for the Rad51 protein and incorporated BrdU confirmed S phase specific appearance of the Rad51 nuclear foci. Formation of the Rad51 nuclear foci in PHA-stimulated lymphocytes might be involved in DNA recombination or DNA repair in S phase. The roles of RAD51 foci in S-phase will be discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • DNA / blood
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology
  • Rad51 Recombinase
  • S Phase / physiology*
  • Stimulation, Chemical


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • DNA
  • RAD51 protein, human
  • Rad51 Recombinase