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EMBO J. 1999 May 4;18(9):2638-47.

DNA translocation blockage, a general mechanism of cleavage site selection by type I restriction enzymes.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology, Biozentrum, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 70, CH-4056, Switzerland.

Abstract

Type I restriction enzymes bind to a specific DNA sequence and subsequently translocate DNA past the complex to reach a non-specific cleavage site. We have examined several potential blocks to DNA translocation, such as positive supercoiling or a Holliday junction, for their ability to trigger DNA cleavage by type I restriction enzymes. Introduction of positive supercoiling into plasmid DNA did not have a significant effect on the rate of DNA cleavage by EcoAI endonuclease nor on the enzyme's ability to select cleavage sites randomly throughout the DNA molecule. Thus, positive supercoiling does not prevent DNA translocation. EcoR124II endonuclease cleaved DNA at Holliday junctions present on both linear and negatively supercoiled substrates. The latter substrate was cleaved by a single enzyme molecule at two sites, one on either side of the junction, consistent with a bi-directional translocation model. Linear DNA molecules with two recognition sites for endonucleases from different type I families were cut between the sites when both enzymes were added simultaneously but not when a single enzyme was added. We propose that type I restriction enzymes can track along a DNA substrate irrespective of its topology and cleave DNA at any barrier that is able to halt the translocation process.

PMID:
10228175
PMCID:
PMC1171343
DOI:
10.1093/emboj/18.9.2638
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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