V(D)J recombination signal recognition: Distinct, overlapping DNA- protein contacts in complexes containing RAG1 with and without RAG2

Patrick C. Swanson, Stephen Desiderio

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102 Scopus citations


Protein interactions with V(D)J recombination signal sequences (RSSs) were mapped in complexes containing RAG1 with (M1/2) or without (M1) RAG2. In both complexes, RAG interactions with the DNA backbone are biased toward one side of the helix; nonamer contacts resemble those of Hin with hixL. In the M1 complex, DNA contacts are centered on the nonamer. In the M1/2 complex, protein-RSS interactions extend through the spacer and into the nonamer- proximal portion of the heptamer. Chemical modifications near the heptamer- coding junction are overrepresented in the M1/2 complex, providing evidence for perturbation of DNA structure in this region. Thus, while RAG1 alone can bind the nonamer, RAG2 is required for heptamer occupancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-125
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1998


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases

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