Send to

Choose Destination
J Mol Biol. 1998 Oct 2;282(4):775-87.

Replication of R6K gamma origin in vitro: discrete start sites for DNA synthesis dependent on pi and its copy-up variants.

Author information

Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706, USA.


The regulation of the plasmid R6K gamma origin (gamma ori) is accomplished through the ability of the pi protein to act as an initiator and inhibitor of replication. Hyperactive variants of this protein, called copy-up pi, allow four to tenfold increases of gamma ori plasmid DNA in vivo. The higher activity of copy-up pi variants could be explained by an increase in the initiator function, a decrease in the inhibitor activity, or a derepression of a more efficient mechanism of replication that can be used by wt pi (pi35. 0) only under certain conditions. We have compared the replication activities of wt pi35.0 and copy-up pi mutants in vitro, and analyzed the replication products. It is shown that copy-up variants are several-fold more active than wt pi35.0 in replication. This appears to be due to enhanced specific replication activity of copy-up mutants rather than elevated fractions of protein proficient in DNA binding. Furthermore, biochemical complementation revealed that pi200 (copy-up) is dominant over wt pi35.0. The elevated activity of copy-up pi is not caused by an increased rate of replisome assembly as inferred from in vitro replication assays in which the lag periods observed were similar to that of wt pi35.0. Moreover, only one round of semiconservative, unidirectional replication occurred in all the samples analyzed indicating that copy-up pi proteins do not initiate multiple rounds of DNA synthesis. Rather, a larger fraction of DNA template replicates in the presence of copy-up pi as determined by electron microscopy. Two clusters of discrete DNA synthesis start sites are mapped by primer extension near the stability (stb) locus of the gamma ori. We show that the start sites are the same in the presence of wt pi35.0 or copy-up proteins. This comparative analysis suggests that wt pi35.0 and copy-up variants utilize fundamentally similar mechanism(s) of replication priming.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center