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Expression of E. coli RecA targeted to mitochondria of human cells.

Authors
  • Paul, R
  • Dalibart, R
  • Lemoine, S
  • Lestienne, P
Type
Published Article
Journal
Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jun 05, 2001
Volume
486
Issue
1
Pages
11–19
Identifiers
PMID: 11356332
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Mitochondrial DNA integrity is ensured by several nuclear-encoded proteins in vertebrates, and a number of mtDNA alterations in human diseases, including deletions and duplications, have been suspected to result from errors in the mitochondrial recombination pathway. However, the presence of the latter system is still a matter of controversy as RecA proteins display various functions in vitro. In Escherichia coli, RecA plays a central role in homologous recombination by pairing and transferring a single strand to a homologous duplex DNA. To address indirectly the issue of a mitochondrial recombination pathway in vivo, we have constructed a chimeric gene containing an N terminal mitochondrial targeting sequence and the E. coli RecA gene. Cells were transfected by the recombinant plasmid, then tested for their mtDNA repair upon bleomycin treatment. We found an increased repair rate of the mitochondrial DNA in cells expressing RecA as compared to control cells. These results indicate that the transfected cells display an improved mtDNA repair replication pathway due to the exogenous RecA, likely in synergy with an endogenous rate-limiting mitochondrial recombination pathway.

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