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Mobile D-loops are a preferred substrate for the Bloom's syndrome helicase

Authors
Journal
Nucleic Acids Research
0305-1048
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Volume
34
Issue
8
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkl258
Keywords
  • Article

Abstract

The Bloom's syndrome helicase, BLM, is a member of the highly conserved RecQ family, and possesses both DNA unwinding and DNA strand annealing activities. BLM also promotes branch migration of Holliday junctions. One role for BLM is to act in conjunction with topoisomerase IIIα to process homologous recombination (HR) intermediates containing a double Holliday junction by a process termed dissolution. However, several lines of evidence suggest that BLM may also act early in one or more of the recombination pathways to eliminate illegitimate or aberrantly paired DNA joint molecules. We have investigated whether BLM can disrupt DNA displacement loops (D-loops), which represent the initial strand invasion step of HR. We show that mobile D-loops created by the RecA recombinase are a highly preferred substrate for BLM with the invading strand being displaced from the duplex. We have identified structural features of the D-loop that determine the efficiency with which BLM promotes D-loop dissociation. We discuss these results in the context of models for the role of BLM as an ‘anti-recombinase’.

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