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Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Feb;40(3):1366-80. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr831. Epub 2011 Oct 7.

Molecular architecture of a multifunctional MCM complex.

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  • 1Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme, Macromolecular Crystallography Group, Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO), c/Melchor Fdez. Almagro 3, 28029-Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

DNA replication is strictly regulated through a sequence of steps that involve many macromolecular protein complexes. One of them is the replicative helicase, which is required for initiation and elongation phases. A MCM helicase found as a prophage in the genome of Bacillus cereus is fused with a primase domain constituting an integrative arrangement of two essential activities for replication. We have isolated this helicase-primase complex (BcMCM) showing that it can bind DNA and displays not only helicase and primase but also DNA polymerase activity. Using single-particle electron microscopy and 3D reconstruction, we obtained structures of BcMCM using ATPγS or ADP in the absence and presence of DNA. The complex depicts the typical hexameric ring shape. The dissection of the unwinding mechanism using site-directed mutagenesis in the Walker A, Walker B, arginine finger and the helicase channels, suggests that the BcMCM complex unwinds DNA following the extrusion model similarly to the E1 helicase from papillomavirus.

PMID:
21984415
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3273815
Free PMC Article

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