In yeast, the Rad51-related proteins include Rad55 and Rad57, which form a heterodimer that interacts with Rad51. Five human Rad51 paralogs have been identified (XRCC2, XRCC3, Rad51B/Rad51L1, Rad51C/Rad51L2, and Rad51D/Rad51L3), and each interacts with one or more of the others. Previously we reported that HsRad51 interacts with XRCC3, and Rad51C interacts with XRCC3, Rad51B, and HsRad51. Here we report that in the yeast two-hybrid system, Rad51D interacts with XRCC2 and Rad51C. No other interactions, including self-interactions, were found, indicating that the observed interactions are specific. The yeast Rad51 interacts with human Rad51 and XRCC3, suggesting Rad51 conservation since the human yeast divergence. Data from yeast three-hybrid experiments indicate that a number of the pairs of interactions between human Rad51 paralogs can occur simultaneously. For example, Rad51B expression enhances the binding of Rad51C to XRCC3 and to HsRad51D, and Rad51C expression allows the indirect interaction of Rad51B with Rad51D. Experiments using 6xHis-tagged proteins in the baculovirus system confirm several of our yeast results, including Rad51B interaction with Rad51D only when Rad51C is simultaneously expressed and Rad51C interaction with XRCC2 only when Rad51D is present. These results suggest that these proteins may participate in one complex or multiple smaller ones.
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