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Mol Genet Genomics. 2002 May;267(3):391-400. Epub 2002 Apr 13.

The beta-propeller protein YxaL increases the processivity of the PcrA helicase.

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Laboratoire de Génétique Microbienne, INRA, 78352 Jouy-en-Josas, France.


The DNA helicase PcrA is found in gram-positive bacteria and belongs to the superfamily 1 (SF1) of helicases, together with Rep and UvrD helicases from Escherichia coli. These helicases have been extensively studied in vitro and their mode of unwinding are well characterised. However, little is known about the putative cellular partners of such helicases. To identify PcrA-interacting factors, PcrA was used as a bait in a genome-wide yeast two-hybrid screen of a Bacillus subtilis library. Three proteins with unknown functions - YxaL, YwhK and YerB - were found to interact specifically with PcrA. The yxaL gene was cloned, the product was overexpressed and purified, and its effect on the PcrA activity was investigated in vitro. YxaL enhanced the processivity of the PcrA helicase. A comparison of the amino acid sequence of YxaL with other proteins from data banks suggests that YxaL belongs to a family of proteins with a repeated domain, which adopt a typical three-dimensional structure designated as a "beta-propeller". This raises the possibility that YxaL acts as a connector protein between PcrA and another cellular component.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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