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Mol Microbiol. 2003 Feb;47(3):755-65.

The DnaAcos allele of Escherichia coli: hyperactive initiation is caused by substitution of A184V and Y271H, resulting in defective ATP binding and aberrant DNA replication control.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1319, USA.


Chromosomal DNA replication is regulated at the level of commitment to this biochemical pathway. In Escherichia coli, DnaA protein appears to regulate this process. A mutant form, DnaAcos, carrying four amino acid substitutions, is apparently defective in responding to regulatory signals, because it induces hyperactive initiation from the bacterial replication origin (oriC). In this report, the phenotype of hyperactive initiation is shown to be the result of two specific amino acid substitutions. One (A184V) immediately adjacent to a Walker A box (P loop motif) causes a defect in ATP binding (Carr and Kaguni, 1996, Mol Microbiol 20: 1307-1318). The second amino acid substitution (Y271H) appears to stabilize the activity of the mutant protein carrying the A184V substitution. The mutant protein carrying both amino acid substitutions (A184V + Y271H) is defective in modulating the frequency of initiation from oriC, as demonstrated by marker frequency analysis of oriC and a locus near the replication terminus. These results indicate that a defect in ATP binding results in aberrant control of DNA replication.

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