Allosteric effects of SSB C-Terminal tail on assembly of E. coli RecOR proteins

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Escherichia coli RecO is a recombination mediator protein that functions in the RecF pathway of homologous recombination, in concert with RecR, and interacts with E. coli single stranded (ss) DNA binding (SSB) protein via the last 9 amino acids of the C-Terminal tails (SSB-Ct). Structures of the E. coli RecR and RecOR complexes are unavailable; however, crystal structures from other organisms show differences in RecR oligomeric state and RecO stoichiometry. We report analytical ultracentrifugation studies of E. coli RecR assembly and its interaction with RecO for a range of solution conditions using both sedimentation velocity and equilibrium approaches. We find that RecR exists in a pH-dependent dimer-Tetramer equilibrium that explains the different assembly states reported in previous studies. RecO binds with positive cooperativity to a RecR tetramer, forming both RecR4O and RecR4O2 complexes. We find no evidence of a stable RecO complex with RecR dimers. However, binding of RecO to SSB-Ct peptides elicits an allosteric effect, eliminating the positive cooperativity and shifting the equilibrium to favor a RecR4O complex. These studies suggest a mechanism for how SSB binding to RecO influences the distribution of RecOR complexes to facilitate loading of RecA onto SSB coated ssDNA to initiate homologous recombination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1987-2004
Number of pages18
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 26 2021


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