The SOS response is an important mechanism which allows Escherichia coli cells to maintain genome integrity. Two key proteins in SOS regulation are LexA (repressor) and RecA (coprotease). The signal for SOS induction is generated at the level of a RecA filament. Depending on the type of DNA damage, a RecA filament is produced by specific activities (helicase, nuclease and RecA loading) of either RecBCD, RecF or a hybrid recombination pathway. It was recently demonstrated that RecA loading activity is essential for the induction of the SOS response after UV-irradiation. In this paper we studied the genetic requirements for SOS induction after introduction of a double-strand break (DSB) by the I-SceI endonuclease in a RecA loading deficient recB mutant (recB1080). We monitored SOS induction by assaying beta-galactosidase activity and compared induction of the response between strains having one or more inactivated mechanisms of RecA loading and their derivatives. We found that simultaneous inactivation of both RecA loading functions (in recB1080 recO double mutant) partially impairs SOS induction after introduction of a DSB. However, we found that the RecJ nuclease is essential for SOS induction after the introduction of a DSB in the recB1080 mutant. This result indicates that RecJ is needed to prepare ssDNA for subsequent loading of RecA protein. It implies that an additional type of RecA loading could exist in the cell.