A homolog (rhp51+) of the RAD51 gene in Schizosaccharomyces pombe was cloned by screening a Sz. pombe genomic library using the 3'-end of RAD51 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a probe. As in S. cerevisiae, the sequence of rhp51+ showed two MluI cell-cycle boxes and a putative DNA damage-responsive element in its upstream region. The open reading frame codes for a 365-amino-acid (aa) polypeptide with an estimated molecular mass of 40 555 Da. The deduced aa sequence shows 27, 66, 75 and 80% identity with Escherichia coli RecA, S. cerevisiae Rad51 and the Rad51 homologs from chicken and humans, respectively. The aa sequence encoded by rhp51+ contains A- and B-type nucleotide-binding consensus sequences, as found in other RAD51 homologs. Northern blot analysis showed that rhp51+ encodes a 1.7-kb transcript. Methyl methanesulfonate treatment increased the level of this transcript three- to fivefold. Southern hybridization analysis suggests that a single copy of rhp51+ exists in the Sz. pombe genome.
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