Recombinases of the RecA family are essential for homologous recombination and underpin genome stability, by promoting the repair of double-stranded DNA breaks and the rescue of collapsed DNA replication forks. Until now, our understanding of homologous recombination has relied on studies of bacterial and eukaryotic model organisms. Archaea provide new opportunities to study how recombination operates in a lineage distinct from bacteria and eukaryotes. In the present paper, we focus on RadA, the archaeal RecA family recombinase, and its homologues in archaea and other domains. On the basis of phylogenetic analysis, we propose that a family of archaeal proteins with a single RecA domain, which are currently annotated as KaiC, be renamed aRadC.

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