Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Structural biology

Snapshots of DNA repair

In recombinational DNA repair, nearly identical sequences in chromosomes are found and swapped. Structures of the RecA–DNA complexes involved provide insight into the mechanism and energetics of this universal process.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: DNA strand exchange promoted by RecA protein.


  1. Chen, Z., Yang, H. & Pavletich, N. P. Nature 453, 489–494 (2008).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Kowalczykowski, S. C. Annu. Rev. Biophys. Biophys. Chem. 20, 539–575 (1991).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Menetski, J. P., Bear, D. G. & Kowalczykowski, S. C. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 87, 21–25 (1990).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Mazin, A. V. & Kowalczykowski, S. C. Genes Dev. 13, 2005–2016 (1999).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Yu, X. et al. Curr. Protein Pept. Sci. 5, 73–79 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Bianco, P. R., Tracy, R. B. & Kowalczykowski, S. C. Front. Biosci. 3, d570–d603 (1998).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Story, R. M., Weber, I. T. & Steitz, T. A. Nature 355, 318–325 (1992).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Story, R. M. & Steitz, T. A. Nature 355, 374–376 (1992).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. McGrew, D. A. & Knight, K. L. Crit. Rev. Biochem. Mol. Biol. 38, 385–432 (2003).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Ferrin, L. J. & Camerini-Otero, R. D. Science 254, 1494–1497 (1991).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kowalczykowski, S. Snapshots of DNA repair. Nature 453, 463–465 (2008).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing