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Biochemistry. 1997 Mar 11;36(10):2733-43.

Mechanism of bacteriophage T4 DNA holoenzyme assembly: the 44/62 protein acts as a molecular motor.

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Department of Chemistry, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802-6300, USA.


The role of ATP hydrolysis by the 44/62 protein in formation of the stable holoenzyme DNA replication complex has been further elucidated by specifically examining the role that the 44/62 protein plays in loading the 45 protein onto the DNA substrate. A stable phospho-45 protein or phosphorylated holoenzyme complex was not detected or isolated, suggesting that the 44/62 protein may not act as a protein kinase. Product and dead-end inhibition data are consistent with an ordered kinetic mechanism with respect to product release in which phosphate is released from the 44/62 protein prior to ADP. Positional isotope effect studies support this mechanism and failed to demonstrate that ATP hydrolysis by the 44/62 protein is reversible. Steady-state ATPase assays using aluminum tetrafluoride as an inhibitor are also consistent with release of ADP being partially rate-limiting. Aluminum tetrafluoride acts to trap ADP on the enzyme after turnover, forming a stable transition state analog that dissociates slowly from the enzyme. Processive DNA synthesis does not occur using the accessory proteins in the presence of pre- or post-hydrolysis analogs of ATP nor in the presence of ADP-AlF4, indicating that turnover of the 44/62 protein is absolutely required for formation of the holoenzyme complex. Collectively, data obtained regarding ATP hydrolysis by the 44/62 protein are described in terms of the clamp loading protein functioning as a molecular motor, similar to other systems including myosin and kinesin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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