Disruption of an ATP-dependent isomerization of the recA protein by mutation of histidine 163

K. A. Muench, F. R. Bryant

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15 Scopus citations


We have used site-directed mutagenesis to replace histidine 163 of the recA polypeptide with an alanine residue. The new [Ala-163]recA protein catalyzes single-stranded (ss) DNA-dependent ATP hydrolysis with a turnover number that is similar to that of the wildtype recA protein. Despite being proficient in ssDNA-dependent ATP hydrolysis, the [Ala-163]recA protein is unable to promote the ATP-dependent three-strand exchange reaction under standard reaction conditions, pH 7.5. The [Ala-163]recA protein does exhibit three strand exchange activity at pH 6.0-7.0, however, and the induction of strand exchange activity at low pH correlates directly with the activation of an ATP-dependent isomerization of the mutant protein. Thus, the [Ala-163 ]recA protein is functionally similar to our previously described mutant [Asn-160]recA protein (Bryant, F.R. (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 263, 8716-8723; Muench, K.A., and Bryant, F. R. (1990) J. Biol. Chem. 265, 11560-11566). Trypsin proteolysis studies indicate that the [Ala-163]recA and [Asn-160]recA proteins, like the wild-type recA protein, are organized into carboxyl-terminal and amino-terminal domains of nearly equal size. According to this structural model, the [Ala-163]recA and [Asn-160]recA mutations may lie in a linker region joining these two domains. We speculate that the [Ala-163]recA and [Asn-160]recA mutations interfere with an ATP-dependent conformational change of the recA protein that perhaps involves a change in the relative orientation of the carboxyl-terminal and amino-terminal domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-850
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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