Single Strand Annealing Plays a Major Role in RecA-Independent Recombination between Repeated Sequences in the Radioresistant Deinococcus radiodurans Bacterium.

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Journal Article
PLoS Genet, 2015, 11 (10), pp. e1005636 - ?
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The bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans is one of the most radioresistant organisms known. It is able to reconstruct a functional genome from hundreds of radiation-induced chromosomal fragments. Our work aims to highlight the genes involved in recombination between 438 bp direct repeats separated by intervening sequences of various lengths ranging from 1,479 bp to 10,500 bp to restore a functional tetA gene in the presence or absence of radiation-induced DNA double strand breaks. The frequency of spontaneous deletion events between the chromosomal direct repeats were the same in recA+ and in ΔrecA, ΔrecF, and ΔrecO bacteria, whereas recombination between chromosomal and plasmid DNA was shown to be strictly dependent on the RecA and RecF proteins. The presence of mutations in one of the repeated sequence reduced, in a MutS-dependent manner, the frequency of the deletion events. The distance between the repeats did not influence the frequencies of deletion events in recA+ as well in ΔrecA bacteria. The absence of the UvrD protein stimulated the recombination between the direct repeats whereas the absence of the DdrB protein, previously shown to be involved in DNA double strand break repair through a single strand annealing (SSA) pathway, strongly reduces the frequency of RecA- (and RecO-) independent deletions events. The absence of the DdrB protein also increased the lethal sectoring of cells devoid of RecA or RecO protein. γ-irradiation of recA+ cells increased about 10-fold the frequencies of the deletion events, but at a lesser extend in cells devoid of the DdrB protein. Altogether, our results suggest a major role of single strand annealing in DNA repeat deletion events in bacteria devoid of the RecA protein, and also in recA+ bacteria exposed to ionizing radiation.
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