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Mol Cell. 2000 Jul;6(1):149-58.

Crystal structure of the DNA binding domain of the replication initiation protein E1 from papillomavirus.

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W.M. Keck Structural Biology Center, Cold Spring Harbor, New York 11724, USA.


Papillomaviral infection causes both benign and malignant lesions and is a necessary cause of cervical carcinoma. Replication of this virus requires the replication initiation proteins E1 and E2, which bind cooperatively at the origin of replication (ori) as an (E1)2-(E2)2-DNA complex. This is a precursor to larger E1 complexes that distort and unwind the ori. We present the crystal structure of the E1 DNA binding domain refined to 1.9 A resolution. Residues critical for DNA binding are located on an extended loop and an alpha helix. We identify the E1 dimerization surface by selective mutations at an E1/E1 interface observed in the crystal and propose a model for the (E1)2-DNA complex. These and other observations suggest how the E1 DNA binding domain orchestrates assembly of the hexameric helicase on the ori.

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