Rad51, the major eukaryotic homologous recombinase, is important for the repair of DNA damage and the maintenance of genomic diversity and stability. The active form of this DNA-dependent ATPase is a helical filament within which the search for homology and strand exchange occurs. Here we present the crystal structure of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rad51 filament formed by a gain-of-function mutant. This filament has a longer pitch than that seen in crystals of Rad51's prokaryotic homolog RecA, and places the ATPase site directly at a new interface between protomers. Although the filament exhibits approximate six-fold symmetry, alternate protein-protein interfaces are slightly different, implying that the functional unit of Rad51 within the filament may be a dimer. Additionally, we show that mutation of His352, which lies at this new interface, markedly disrupts DNA binding.
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We thank the staff of BioCARS and of Structural Biology Center for help with data collection. Use of the Advanced Photon Source was supported by the US Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Science, under contract no. W-31-109-Eng-38. Use of the BioCARS Sector 14 was supported by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Center for Research Resources, under grant RR07707. This work was supported in part by NIH GM54099 (L.S.S.), NIH GM 058827 (P.A.R.), NIH 2 T32 GM008720 (A.B.C.), NIH T32 CA09594 (T.W.L.) and NIH T32 CA09503 (C.F.).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Conway, A., Lynch, T., Zhang, Y. et al. Crystal structure of a Rad51 filament. Nat Struct Mol Biol 11, 791–796 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1038/nsmb795
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