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EMBO J. 2001 Aug 1;20(15):4253-62.

Hda, a novel DnaA-related protein, regulates the replication cycle in Escherichia coli.

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Department of Biology, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Minamiohsawa, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan.


The bacterial DnaA protein binds to the chromosomal origin of replication to trigger a series of initiation reactions, which leads to the loading of DNA polymerase III. In Escherichia coli, once this polymerase initiates DNA synthesis, ATP bound to DnaA is efficiently hydrolyzed to yield the ADP-bound inactivated form. This negative regulation of DnaA, which occurs through interaction with the beta-subunit sliding clamp configuration of the polymerase, functions in the temporal blocking of re-initiation. Here we show that the novel DnaA-related protein, Hda, from E.coli is essential for this regulatory inactivation of DnaA in vitro and in vivo. Our results indicate that the hda gene is required to prevent over-initiation of chromosomal replication and for cell viability. Hda belongs to the chaperone-like ATPase family, AAA(+), as do DnaA and certain eukaryotic proteins essential for the initiation of DNA replication. We propose that the once-per-cell-cycle rule of replication depends on the timely interaction of AAA(+) proteins that comprise the apparatus regulating the activity of the initiator of replication.

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