Section 12
Chapter 11,366

Site-directed mutagenesis reveals roles for conserved amino acid residues in the hexameric DNA helicase DnaB from Bacillus stearothermophilus

Soultanas, P.; Wigley, D.B.

Nucleic Acids Research 30(18): 4051-4060


ISSN/ISBN: 0305-1048
PMID: 12235389
DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkf527
Accession: 011365866

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Site-directed mutagenesis studies on conserved amino acid residues within motifs H1, H1a, H2 and H3 of the hexameric replicative helicase DnaB from Bacillus stearothermophilus revealed specific functions associated with these residues. In particular, residues that coordinate a bound Mg2+ in the active site (T217 and D320) are important for the function of the enzyme but are not required for the formation of stable hexamers. A conserved glutamic acid (E241) in motif H1a is likely to be involved in the activation of a water molecule for in line attack on the gamma-phosphate of the bound nucleotide during catalysis. A conserved glutamine (Q362) in motif H3 acts as a gamma-phosphate sensor and mediates the conformational coupling of nucleotide- and DNA-binding sites. The nature of the residue at this position is also important for the primase-mediated activation of DnaB, suggesting that primase uses the same conformational coupling pathway to induce its stimulatory effect on the activity of DnaB. Together, these mutations reveal a conservation of many aspects of biochemical activity in the active sites of monomeric and hexameric helicases.

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