Rad51, of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is a homologue of recA of Escherichia coli and plays crucial roles in both mitotic and meiotic recombination and in repair of double-strand breaks of DNA. We have cloned genes from human, mouse and fission yeast that are homologous to rad51. The 339 amino acid proteins predicted for the two mammalian genes are almost identical and are highly homologous (83%) with the yeast proteins. The mouse gene is transcribed at a high level in thymus, spleen, testis andpvary and at a lower level in brain and other tissues. The rad51 homologues fail to complement the DNA repair defect of rad51 mutants of S. cerevisiae. The mouse gene is located in the F1 region of chromosome 2 and the human gene maps to chromosome 15.
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