Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Chair of Metabolic Biochemistry

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Fractionated nuclear extracts from hamster cells catalyze cell-free recombination at selective sequences between adenovirus DNA and a hamster preinsertion site

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 90(15): 7356-60

Authors/Editors: Fechteler K
Langenbach P
Doerfler W
Publication Date: 1993
Type of Publication: Journal Article
We have explored the mechanism of adenovirus type 12 (Ad12) DNA integration because of its importance for viral oncogenesis and as an example of insertional recombination. We have used a fractionated cell-free system from nuclear extracts of hamster cells and have partly purified nuclear proteins that could catalyze in vitro recombination. As recombination partners, the 20,880- to 24,049-nucleotide Pst I D fragment of Ad12 DNA and the hamster preinsertion sequence p7 from the Ad12-induced tumor CLAC1 have proven to recombine at higher frequencies than randomly selected adenoviral or cellular DNA sequences. A preinsertion sequence might carry elements essential in eliciting recombination. Patch homologies between the recombination partners seem to play a role in the selection of sites for recombination in vivo and in the cell-free system. Nuclear extracts from BHK21 cells were prepared by incubating the nuclei in 0.42 M (NH4)2SO4 and fractionated by Sephacryl S-300 gel filtration, followed by chromatography on Mono S and Mono Q columns. The purified products active in recombination contained a limited number of different protein bands, as determined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and silver staining. The most highly purified fraction IV had helicase and topoisomerase I activities. We used two different methods to assess the in vitro generation of hamster DNA-Ad12 DNA recombinants upon incubation with the purified protein fractions: (i) transfection of the recombination products into recA- strains of Escherichia coli and (ii) the polymerase chain reaction by using amplification primers unique for each of the two recombination partners. In p7 hamster DNA, the nucleotide sequence 5'-CCTCTCCG-3' or similar sequences served repeatedly as a preferred recombination target for Ad12 DNA in the tumor CLAC1 and in five independent cell-free recombination experiments.

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