The serine recombinases

Stark, W. M. (2015) The serine recombinases. In: Craig, N., Chandler, M., Gellert, M., Lambowitz, A., Rice, P. and Sandmeyer, S. (eds.) Mobile DNA III. ASM Press: Washington, DC, pp. 73-89. (doi: 10.1128/9781555819217)

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The term site-specific recombination encompasses a group of biological processes that, unlike homologous recombination, promote rearrangements of DNA by breaking and rejoining strands at precisely defined sequence positions. In a canonical site-specific recombination event, two discrete sites (sequences of DNA, typically a few tens of base pairs long) are broken, and the ends are reciprocally exchanged and rejoined, resulting in recombinant products ( Fig. 1 ). Site-specific recombination does not require extensive sequence homology; the sites are identified and brought together by protein–DNA and protein–protein interactions involving specialized recombinase proteins, unlike homologous recombination where DNA–DNA interactions define the loci of strand exchange. “Conservative” site-specific recombination systems form recombinants without any requirement for DNA synthesis or high-energy cofactors. Some other biological processes such as transposition are sometimes categorized with site-specific recombination because of common features including cleavage and rejoining of DNA strands at precise positions defined by protein–DNA interactions, but these processes may require DNA synthesis and/or ligase-mediated rejoining of DNA strands. The systems discussed in this chapter conform to the strict “conservative” definition. General aspects of site-specific recombination have been reviewed elsewhere ( 1 , 2 , 3 ).

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Stark, Professor Marshall
Authors: Stark, W. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Molecular Cell and Systems Biology
Publisher:ASM Press

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