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Fonville, NC, Blankschien, MD, Magner, DB and Rosenberg, SM (2010) RecQ-dependent death-by-recombination in cells lacking RecG and UvrD. DNA Repair (Amst.) 9:403-13


Maintenance of genomic stability is critical for all cells. Homologous recombination (HR) pathways promote genome stability using evolutionarily conserved proteins such as RecA, SSB, and RecQ, the Escherichia coli homologue of five human proteins at least three of which suppress genome instability and cancer. A previous report indicated that RecQ promotes the net accumulation in cells of intermolecular HR intermediates (IRIs), a net effect opposite that of the yeast and two human RecQ homologues. Here we extend those conclusions. We demonstrate that cells that lack both UvrD, an inhibitor of RecA-mediated strand exchange, and RecG, a DNA helicase implicated in IRI resolution, are inviable. We show that the uvrD recG cells die a "death-by-recombination" in which IRIs accumulate blocking chromosome segregation. First, their death requires RecA HR protein. Second, the death is accompanied by cytogenetically visible failure to segregate chromosomes. Third, FISH analyses show that the unsegregated chromosomes have completed replication, supporting the hypothesis that unresolved IRIs prevented the segregation. Fourth, we show that RecQ and induction of the SOS response are required for the accumulation of replicated, unsegregated chromosomes and death, as are RecF, RecO, and RecJ. ExoI exonuclease and MutL mismatch-repair protein are partially required. This set of genes is similar but not identical to those that promote death-by-recombination of DeltauvrD Deltaruv cells. The data support models in which RecQ promotes the net accumulation in cells of IRIs and RecG promotes resolution of IRIs that form via pathways not wholly identical to those that produce the IRIs resolved by RuvABC. This implies that RecG resolves intermediates other than or in addition to standard Holliday junctions resolved by RuvABC. The role of RecQ in net accumulation of IRIs may be shared by one or more of its human homologues.


PubMed PMC2846991 Online version:10.1016/j.dnarep.2009.12.019


DNA Helicases/genetics; DNA Helicases/metabolism; Escherichia coli/genetics; Escherichia coli/metabolism; Escherichia coli Proteins/genetics; Escherichia coli Proteins/metabolism; Mutation; RecQ Helicases/metabolism; Recombination, Genetic


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