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Most site-specific recombinases can be grouped into two structurally and mechanistically different classes. Whereas recombination by tyrosine recombinases proceeds with little movements by the proteins, serine recombinases exchange DNA strands by a mechanism requiring large quaternary rearrangements. Here we use site-directed crosslinking to investigate the… (More)
Serine recombinases are often tightly controlled by elaborate, topologically-defined, nucleoprotein complexes. Hin is a member of the DNA invertase subclass of serine recombinases that are regulated by a remote recombinational enhancer element containing two binding sites for the protein Fis. Two Hin dimers bound to specific recombination sites associate… (More)
Two new reports on serine recombinases, one of a crystal snapshot in an alternate rotational conformer poised for DNA cleavage (Keenholtz et al., 2011), and a second employing single-DNA molecule approaches (Bai et al., 2011), provide strong support for the subunit rotation model for exchanging DNA strands.
DNA strand exchange by serine recombinases has been proposed to occur by a large-scale rotation of halves of the recombinase tetramer. Here we provide the first direct physical evidence for the subunit rotation mechanism for the Hin serine invertase. Single-DNA looping assays using an activated mutant (Hin-H107Y) reveal specific synapses between two hix… (More)