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J Bacteriol. 1995 Dec;177(24):7041-9.

In vitro recognition of the replication origin of pLS1 and of plasmids of the pLS1 family by the RepB initiator protein.

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Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain.


Rolling-circle replication of plasmid pLS1 is initiated by the plasmid-encoded RepB protein, which has nicking-closing (site-specific DNA strand transferase) enzymatic activity. The leading-strand origin of pLS1 contains two regions, (i) the RepB-binding site, constituted by three directly repeated sequences (iterons or the bind region), and (ii) the sequence where RepB introduces the nick to initiate replication (the nic region). A series of plasmids, belonging to the pLS1 family, show features similar to those of pLS1 and have DNA sequences homologous to the pLS1 nic region. In addition, they all share homologies at the level of their Rep proteins. However, the bind regions of these plasmids are, in general, not conserved. We tested the substrate specificity of purified RepB of pLS1. The RepB protein has a temperature-dependent nicking-closing action on supercoiled pLS1, as well as on recombinant plasmid DNAs harboring the pLS1 nic region. The DNA strand transferase activity of pLS1-encoded RepB was also assayed on two plasmids of the pLS1 family, namely, pE194 and pFX2. DNAs from both plasmids were relaxed by RepB, provided they had a proper degree of supercoiling; i.e., it was necessary to modulate the supercoiling of pE194 DNA to achieve RepB-mediated DNA relaxation. Single-stranded oligonucleotides containing the nic regions of various plasmids belonging to the pLS1 family, including those of pE194 and pFX2, were substrates for RepB. In vitro, the RepB protein does not need to bind to the iterons for its nicking-closing activity.

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