V(D)J recombination is responsible for generating an enormous repertoire of immunoglobulins and T cell receptors, therefore it is a centerpiece to the formation of the adaptive immune system. The V(D)J recombination process proceeds through two steps, site-specific cleavage at RSS (Recombination Signal Sequence) site mediated by the RAG recombinase (RAG1/2) and the subsequent imprecise resolution of the DNA ends, which is carried out by the ubiquitous non-homologous end joining pathway (NHEJ). The V(D)J recombination reaction is obliged to be tightly controlled under all circumstances, as it involves generations of DNA double strand breaks, which are considered the most dangerous lesion to a cell. Multifaceted regulatory mechanisms have been evolved to create great diversity of the antigen receptor repertoire while ensuring genome stability. The RAG-mediated cleavage reaction is stringently regulated at both the pre-cleavage stage and the post-cleavage stage. Specifically, RAG1/2 first forms a pre-cleavage complex assembled at the boarder of RSS and coding flank, which ensures the appropriate DNA targeting. Subsequently, this complex initiates site-specific cleavage, generating two types of double stranded DNA breaks, hairpin-ended coding ends (HP-CEs) and blunt signal ends (SEs). After the cleavage, RAG1/2 proteins bind and retain the recombination ends to form post-cleavage complexes (PCC), which collaborates with the NHEJ machinery for appropriate transfer of recombination ends to NHEJ for proper end resolution. However, little is known about the molecular basis of this collaboration, partly attributed to the lack of sensitive assays to reveal the interaction of PCC with HP-CEs. Here, for the first time, by using two complementary fluorescence-based techniques, fluorescence anisotropy and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), I managed to monitor the RAG1/2-catalyzed cleavage reaction in real time, from the pre-cleavage to the post-cleavage stages. By examining the dynamic fluorescence changes during the RAG-mediated cleavage reactions, and by manipulating the reaction conditions, I was able to characterize some fundamental properties of RAG-DNA interactions before and after cleavage. Firstly, Mg2+, known as a physiological cofactor at the excision step, also promotes the HP-CEs retention in the RAG complex after cleavage. Secondly, the structure of pre-cleavage complex may affect the subsequent collaborations with NHEJ for end resolution. Thirdly, the non-core region of RAG2 may have differential influences on the PCC retention of HP-CEs and SEs. Furthermore, I also provide the first evidence of RAG1-mediated regulation of RAG2. Our study provides important insights into the multilayered regulatory mechanisms, in modulating recombination events in developing lymphocytes and paves the way for possible development of detection and diagnotic markers for defective recombination events that are often associated immunodeficiency and/or lymphoid malignancy.