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J Biol Chem. 2004 Jul 9;279(28):29211-7. Epub 2004 May 8.

Functional properties of the herpes simplex virus type I origin-binding protein are controlled by precise interactions with the activated form of the origin of DNA replication.

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  • 1Department of Medical Biochemistry, G├Âteborg University, Box 440, S-405 30 G├Âteborg, Sweden.


The herpes simplex virus, type I origin-binding protein, OBP, is a superfamily II DNA helicase encoded by the UL9 gene. OBP binds in a sequence-specific and cooperative way to the viral origin of replication oriS. OBP may unwind partially and introduce a hairpin into the double-stranded origin of replication. The formation of the novel conformation referred to as oriS* also requires the single-stranded DNA-binding protein, ICP8, and ATP hydrolysis. OBP forms a stable complex with oriS*. The hairpin in oriS* provides a site for sequence-specific attachment, and a single-stranded region triggers ATP hydrolysis. Here we use Escherichia coli exonuclease I to map the binding of the C-terminal domain of OBP to the hairpin and the helicase domains to the single-stranded tail. The helicase domains cover a stretch of 23 nucleotides of single-stranded DNA. Using streptavidin-coated magnetic beads, we show that OBP may bind two copies of double-stranded DNA (one biotin-labeled and the other one radioactively labeled) but only one copy of oriS*. It is the length of the single-stranded tail that determines the stoichiometry of OBP.DNA complexes. OBP interacts with the bases of the single-stranded tail, and ATP hydrolysis is triggered by position-specific interactions between OBP and bases in the single-stranded tail of oriS*.

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