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Homologous Recombination under the Single-Molecule Fluorescence Microscope

Department of Chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1001 West Main Street, Richmond, VA 23284, USA
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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(23), 6102; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20236102
Received: 29 October 2019 / Revised: 26 November 2019 / Accepted: 30 November 2019 / Published: 3 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Systems at the Protein Level)
Homologous recombination (HR) is a complex biological process and is central to meiosis and for repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Although the HR process has been the subject of intensive study for more than three decades, the complex protein–protein and protein–DNA interactions during HR present a significant challenge for determining the molecular mechanism(s) of the process. This knowledge gap is largely because of the dynamic interactions between HR proteins and DNA which is difficult to capture by routine biochemical or structural biology methods. In recent years, single-molecule fluorescence microscopy has been a popular method in the field of HR to visualize these complex and dynamic interactions at high spatiotemporal resolution, revealing mechanistic insights of the process. In this review, we describe recent efforts that employ single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to investigate protein–protein and protein–DNA interactions operating on three key DNA-substrates: single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), and four-way DNA called Holliday junction (HJ). We also outline the technological advances and several key insights revealed by these studies in terms of protein assembly on these DNA substrates and highlight the foreseeable promise of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy in advancing our understanding of homologous recombination. View Full-Text
Keywords: single-molecule fluorescence microscopy; fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET); homologous recombination (HR); DNA break repair; DNA curtain; optical tweezers; Holliday junction (HJ) single-molecule fluorescence microscopy; fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET); homologous recombination (HR); DNA break repair; DNA curtain; optical tweezers; Holliday junction (HJ)
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Gibbs, D.R.; Dhakal, S. Homologous Recombination under the Single-Molecule Fluorescence Microscope. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 6102.

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