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Methods for studying DNA repair and protein modification are featured in CSH Protocols

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y. (Mon., Jan. 5, 2009) - This month's issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols ( features two articles detailing experimental methods for the analysis of molecular processes involved in DNA repair and post-translational modification of proteins.

Homologous recombination is an important mechanism for the repair of damaged chromosomes. When this occurs, a Displacement Loop, or "D-loop," is formed as the two strands of the DNA molecule are separated and held apart by a third strand of DNA. Patrick Sung's laboratory at Yale University ( has detailed a method for generating these structures in their article, "Assay for Human Rad51-Mediated DNA Displacement Loop Formation." This reconstituted system provides researchers a biochemical means to dissect the mechanisms of the homologous recombination machinery. The protocol is freely accessible on the website for Cold Spring Harbor Protocols (

Sumoylation involves the attachment of Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier or "SUMO" proteins to other proteins in a cell. Sumoylation modifies these target proteins and can affect a variety of activities, including stability, transport, and transcriptional regulation. James Manley's laboratory at Columbia University ( provides "In Vitro Sumoylation of Recombinant Proteins and Subsequent Purification for Use in Enzymatic Assays," a protocol for modifying proteins in this manner, allowing one to assess the impact of sumoylation. This method is freely accessible on the website for Cold Spring Harbor Protocols (


Contact: David Crotty
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

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