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J Biol Chem. 1997 Sep 26;272(39):24508-13.

A DNA helicase activity is associated with an MCM4, -6, and -7 protein complex.

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  • Mitsubishi Kasei Institute of Life Sciences, 11 Minamiooya, Machida, Tokyo 194, Japan. yukio@libra.ls.m-kagaku.co.jp

Erratum in

  • J Biol Chem 1998 Sep 4;273(36):23616.


All six minichromosome maintenance (MCM) proteins have DNA-dependent ATPase motifs in the central domain which is conserved from yeast to mammals. Our group purified MCM protein complexes consisting of MCM2, -4 (Cdc21), -6 (Mis5), and -7 (CDC47) proteins from HeLa cells by using histone-Sepharose column chromatography (Ishimi, Y., Ichinose, S., Omori, A., Sato K., and Kimura, H. (1996) J. Biol. Chem. 271, 24115-24122). The present study revealed that both ATPase activity and DNA helicase activity that displaces oligonucleotides annealed to single-stranded circular DNA are associated with an MCM protein complex. Both ATPase and DNA helicase activities were co-purified with a 600-kDa protein complex that is consisted of equal amounts of MCM4, -6, and -7 proteins. An immunodepletion of the MCM protein complex from the purified fraction using anti-MCM4 antibody resulted in the severe reduction of the DNA helicase activity. Displacement of DNA fragments by the DNA helicase suggested that it migrated along single-stranded DNA in the 3' to 5' direction, and the DNA helicase activity was detected only in the presence of hydrolyzable ATP or dATP. These results suggest that this helicase may be involved in the initiation of DNA replication as a DNA unwinding enzyme.

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