DNA double-strand break repair through the RAD52 homologous recombination pathway in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae requires, among others, the RAD51, RAD52, and RAD54 genes. The biological importance of homologous recombination is underscored by the conservation of the RAD52 pathway from fungi to humans. The critical roles of the RAD52 group proteins in the early steps of recombination, the search for DNA homology and strand exchange, are now becoming apparent. Here, we report the purification of the human Rad54 protein. We showed that human Rad54 has ATPase activity that is absolutely dependent on double-stranded DNA. Unexpectedly, the ATPase activity appeared not absolutely required for the DNA repair function of human Rad54 in vivo. Despite the presence of amino acid sequence motifs that are conserved in a large family of DNA helicases, no helicase activity of human Rad54 was observed on a variety of different DNA substrates. Possible functions of human Rad54 in homologous recombination that couple the energy gained from ATP hydrolysis to translocation along DNA, rather than disruption of base pairing, are discussed.

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Journal of Biological Chemistry
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Essers, J., de Wit, J., Kanaar, R., Hoeijmakers, J., & Swagemakers, S. (1998). The human RAD54 recombinational DNA repair protein is a double-stranded DNA-dependent ATPase. Journal of Biological Chemistry. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/8917