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J Biol Chem. 1995 Mar 3;270(9):4882-9.

Structure and function of transcription-repair coupling factor. I. Structural domains and binding properties.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill 27599.


The 130-kDa mfd gene product is required for coupling transcription to repair in Escherichia coli. Mfd displaces E. coli RNA polymerase (Pol) stalled at a lesion, binds to the damage recognition protein UvrA, and increases the template strand repair rate during transcription. Here, the interactions of Mfd (transcription-repair coupling factor, TRCF) with DNA, RNA Pol, and UvrA were investigated. TRCF bound nonspecifically to double stranded DNA; binding to DNA produced alternating DNase I-protected and -hypersensitive regions, suggesting possible wrapping of the DNA around the enzyme. Weaker binding to single stranded DNA and no binding to single stranded RNA were observed. DNA binding required ATP, and hydrolysis of ATP promoted dissociation. Removal of a stalled RNA Pol also requires ATP hydrolysis. Apparently, TRCF recognizes a stalled elongation complex by directly interacting with RNA Pol, since binding to a synthetic transcription bubble was no stronger than binding to double stranded DNA, and binding to free RNA Pol holoenzyme and to initiation and elongation complexes in the absence of adenosine 5'-O-(thiotriphosphate) were observed. Structure-function analysis showed that residues 379-571 are involved in binding to a stalled RNAP. The helicase motifs region, residues 571-931, binds to ATP and duplex polynucleotide (DNA:DNA or DNA:RNA). Dissociation of the ternary complex upon hydrolysis of ATP also requires the carboxyl terminus of TRCF. Finally, residues 1-378 bind to UvrA and deliver the damage recognition component of the excision nuclease to the lesion.

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