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EMBO J. 1993 Dec;12(12):4547-54.

Open-complex formation by the host initiator, DnaA, at the origin of P1 plasmid replication.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892.


Replication of P1 plasmid requires both the plasmid-specific initiator, RepA, and the host initiator, DnaA. Here we show that DnaA can make the P1 origin reactive to the single-strand specific reagents KMnO4 and mung bean nuclease. Addition of RepA further increased the KMnO4 reactivity of the origin, although RepA alone did not influence the reaction. The increased reactivity implies that the two initiators interact in some way to alter the origin conformation. The KMnO4 reactivity was restricted to one strand of the origin. We suggest that the roles of DnaA in P1 plasmid and bacterial replication are similar: origin opening and loading of the DnaB helicase. The strand-bias in chemical reactivity at the P1 origin most likely indicates that only one of the strands is used for the loading of DnaB, a scenario consistent with the unidirectional replication of the plasmid.

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