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RadB acts in homologous recombination in the archaeon Haloferax volcanii, consistent with a role as recombination mediator

Wardell, Kayleigh; Haldenby, Sam; Jones, Nathan; Liddell, Susan; Ngo, Greg H.P.; Allers, Thorsten


Kayleigh Wardell

Sam Haldenby

Nathan Jones

Susan Liddell

Greg H.P. Ngo


Homologous recombination plays a central role in the repair of double-strand DNA breaks, the restart of stalled replication forks and the generation of genetic diversity. Regulation of recombination is essential since defects can lead to genome instability and chromosomal rearrangements. Strand exchange is a key step of recombination – it is catalysed by RecA in bacteria, Rad51/Dmc1 in eukaryotes and RadA in archaea. RadB, a paralogue of RadA, is present in many archaeal species. RadB has previously been proposed to function as a recombination mediator, assisting in RadA-mediated strand exchange. In this study, we use the archaeon Haloferax volcanii to provide evidence to support this hypothesis. We show that RadB is required for efficient recombination and survival following treatment with DNA-damaging agents, and we identify two point mutations in radA that suppress the ΔradB phenotype. Analysis of these point mutations leads us to propose that the role of RadB is to act as a recombination mediator, which it does by inducing a conformational change in RadA and thereby promoting its polymerisation on DNA.


Wardell, K., Haldenby, S., Jones, N., Liddell, S., Ngo, G. H., & Allers, T. (2017). RadB acts in homologous recombination in the archaeon Haloferax volcanii, consistent with a role as recombination mediator. DNA Repair, 55,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 25, 2017
Online Publication Date Apr 26, 2017
Publication Date Jul 1, 2017
Deposit Date May 15, 2017
Publicly Available Date May 15, 2017
Journal DNA Repair
Print ISSN 1568-7864
Electronic ISSN 1568-7856
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 55
Keywords Homologous recombination; Archaea; RecA-family recombinase; Strand exchange; Recombination mediator
Public URL
Publisher URL


Wardell et al (2017).pdf (1.8 Mb)

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