Send to

Choose Destination
J Mol Biol. 1999 Oct 1;292(4):787-96.

The DNA translocation and ATPase activities of restriction-deficient mutants of Eco KI.

Author information

Institute of Cell & Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JR, United Kingdom.


Eco KI, a type I restriction enzyme, specifies DNA methyltransferase, ATPase, endonuclease and DNA translocation activities. One subunit (HsdR) of the oligomeric enzyme contributes to those activities essential for restriction. These activities involve ATP-dependent DNA translocation and DNA cleavage. Mutations that change amino acids within recognisable motifs in HsdR impair restriction. We have used an in vivo assay to monitor the effect of these mutations on DNA translocation. The assay follows the Eco KI-dependent entry of phage T7 DNA from the phage particle into the host cell. Earlier experiments have shown that mutations within the seven motifs characteristic of the DEAD-box family of proteins that comprise known or putative helicases severely impair the ATPase activity of purified enzymes. We find that the mutations abolish DNA translocation in vivo. This provides evidence that these motifs are relevant to the coupling of ATP hydrolysis to DNA translocation. Mutations that identify an endonuclease motif similar to that found at the active site of type II restriction enzymes and other nucleases have been shown to abolish DNA nicking activity. When conservative changes are made at these residues, the enzymes lack nuclease activity but retain the ability to hydrolyse ATP and to translocate DNA at wild-type levels. It has been speculated that nicking may be necessary to resolve the topological problems associated with DNA translocation by type I restriction and modification systems. Our experiments show that loss of the nicking activity associated with the endonuclease motif of Eco KI has no effect on ATPase activity in vitro or DNA translocation of the T7 genome in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center