Recombinational Repair

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Homologous recombination, an exchange between homologous chromosomes, can be detected in bacterial cells only in engineered circumstances. It is an actively catalyzed process, with at least two early pathways leading to the recombination intermediate, and two late pathways resolving this intermediate. Mutants in homologous recombination are sensitive to DNA damage, indicating that recombination is a system to repair special DNA lesions. The lesions that are not repaired in recombination mutants are those that affect both DNA strands in the same location. Such two-strand lesions are mostly generated by replication of DNA with one-strand lesions. Since such two-strand lesions disable the chromosome, they are called 'chromosomal lesions'. Further, there are two general classes of chromosomal lesions: blocked one-strand gaps and double-strand ends. Finally, the two pathways of homologous recombination turn out to be specialized repair reactions to mend the two types of chromosomal lesions. Hence, recombinational repair is a system that allows cells to carry out replication on damaged template DNA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBrenner's Encyclopedia of Genetics
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780080961569
ISBN (Print)9780123749840
StatePublished - Feb 27 2013


  • Chromosomal lesion
  • Disintegrated replication fork
  • Double-strand break
  • Helicase
  • Holliday junction resolvase
  • Homologous alignment
  • Homologous recombination
  • Inter-strand cross-link
  • Nuclease
  • Recombinase
  • Recombination intermediate
  • Replication fork restart
  • Strand exchange

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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