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Biochemistry. 2005 Mar 22;44(11):4204-15.

Evidence for the role of DNA strand passage in the mechanism of action of microcin B17 on DNA gyrase.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UH, United Kingdom.


Microcin B17 (MccB17) is a DNA gyrase poison; in previous work, this bacterial toxin was found to slowly and incompletely inhibit the reactions of supercoiling and relaxation of DNA by gyrase and to stabilize the cleavage complex, depending on the presence of ATP and the DNA topology. We now show that the action of MccB17 on the gyrase ATPase reaction and cleavage complex formation requires a linear DNA fragment of more than 150 base pairs. MccB17 is unable to stimulate the ATPase reaction by stabilizing the weak interactions between short linear DNA fragments (70 base pairs or less) and gyrase, in contrast with the quinolone ciprofloxacin. However, MccB17 can affect the ATP-dependent relaxation of DNA by gyrase lacking its DNA-wrapping or ATPase domains. From these findings, we propose a mode of action of MccB17 requiring a DNA molecule long enough to allow the transport of a segment through the DNA gate of the enzyme. Furthermore, we suggest that MccB17 may trap a transient intermediate state of the gyrase reaction present only during DNA strand passage and enzyme turnover. The proteolytic signature of MccB17 from trypsin treatment of the full enzyme requires DNA and ATP and shows a protection of the C-terminal 47-kDa domain of gyrase, indicating the involvement of this domain in the toxin mode of action and consistent with its proposed role in the mechanism of DNA strand passage. We suggest that the binding site of MccB17 is in the C-terminal domain of GyrB.

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