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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Dec;85(23):8850-4.

DNA gyrase binds to the family of prokaryotic repetitive extragenic palindromic sequences.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


A family of repetitive extragenic palindromic (REP) sequences is composed of hundreds of copies distributed throughout the chromosome. Their palindromic nature and conservation suggested that they are specifically recognized by a protein(s). We have identified DNA gyrase [DNA topoisomerase (ATP-hydrolysing), EC] as one of the REP-binding proteins. Gyrase has at least a 10-fold higher affinity for DNA containing REP sequences than for DNA not containing REP sequences. Binding effectiveness correlates directly with the number of REP sequences in the DNA. DNase I footprinting shows that gyrase protects 205 base pairs on a REP-containing DNA fragment enclosing the REP sequences. In agreement with the above results, a comparison of the REP consensus sequence with the sequence of previously identified pBR322 "strong" gyrase cleavage sites reveals a high degree of homology. Because REP sequences are numerous and found throughout the genome, we suggest they have physiological functions mediated through their interaction with gyrase, such as being sites of action for the maintenance of DNA supercoiling. In addition, we speculate that these interactions may be of a structural nature, such as involvement in the higher-order structure of the bacterial chromosome.

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