Purification and characterization of the RecA protein from Streptococcus pneumoniae

S. E. Steffen, F. R. Bryant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Streptococcus pneumoniae is a naturally transformable bacterium that is able to take up single-stranded DNA from its environment and incorporate the exogenous DNA into its genome. This process, known as transformational recombination, is dependent upon the presence of the recA gene, which encodes an ATP-dependent DNA recombinase whose sequence is 60% identical to that of the RecA protein from Escherichia coli. We have developed an overexpression system for the S. pneumoniae RecA protein and have purified the protein to greater than 99% homogeneity. The S. pneumoniae RecA protein has ssDNA-dependent NTP hydrolysis and NTP-dependent DNA strand exchange activities that are generally similar to those of the E. coli RecA protein. In addition to its role as a DNA recombinase, the E. coli RecA protein also acts as a coprotease, which facilitates the cleavage and inactivation of the E. coli LexA repressor during the SOS response to DNA damage. Interestingly, the S. pneumoniae RecA protein is also able to promote the cleavage of the E. coli LexA protein, even though a protein analogous to the LexA protein does not appear to be present in S. pneumoniae. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-309
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 15 2000


  • ATPase
  • RecA protein
  • Recombination
  • Strand exchange
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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