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Genes Cells. 2004 Jun;9(6):509-22.

Molecular mechanism of DNA replication-coupled inactivation of the initiator protein in Escherichia coli: interaction of DnaA with the sliding clamp-loaded DNA and the sliding clamp-Hda complex.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Kyushu University Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan.


In Escherichia coli, the ATP-DnaA protein initiates chromosomal replication. After the DNA polymerase III holoenzyme is loaded on to DNA, DnaA-bound ATP is hydrolysed in a manner depending on Hda protein and the DNA-loaded form of the DNA polymerase III sliding clamp subunit, which yields ADP-DnaA, an inactivated form for initiation. This regulatory DnaA-inactivation represses extra initiation events. In this study, in vitro replication intermediates and structured DNA mimicking replicational intermediates were first used to identify structural prerequisites in the process of DnaA-ATP hydrolysis. Unlike duplex DNA loaded with sliding clamps, primer RNA-DNA heteroduplexes loaded with clamps were not associated with DnaA-ATP hydrolysis, and duplex DNA provided in trans did not rescue this defect. At least 40-bp duplex DNA is competent for the DnaA-ATP hydrolysis when a single clamp was loaded. The DnaA-ATP hydrolysis was inhibited when ATP-DnaA was tightly bound to a DnaA box-bearing oligonucleotide. These results imply that the DnaA-ATP hydrolysis involves the direct interaction of ATP-DnaA with duplex DNA flanking the sliding clamp. Furthermore, Hda protein formed a stable complex with the sliding clamp. Based on these, we suggest a mechanical basis in the DnaA-inactivation that ATP-DnaA interacts with the Hda-clamp complex with the aid of DNA binding.

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