The helicase-binding domain of Escherichia coli DnaG primase interacts with the highly conserved C-terminal region of single-stranded DNA-binding protein

N. Naue; M. Beerbaum; A. Bogutzki; P. Schmieder; U. Curth*

Nucleic Acids Res. 41, 4507-4517 (2013)

During bacterial DNA replication, DnaG primase and the ? subunit of DNA polymerase III compete for binding to single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB), thus facilitating the switch between priming and elongation. SSB proteins play an essential role in DNA metabolism by protecting single-stranded DNA and by mediating several important protein-protein interactions. Although an interaction of SSB with primase has been previously reported, it was unclear which domains of the two proteins are involved. This study identifies the C-terminal helicase-binding domain of DnaG primase (DnaG-C) and the highly conserved C-terminal region of SSB as interaction sites. By ConSurf analysis, it can be shown that an array of conserved amino acids on DnaG-C forms a hydrophobic pocket surrounded by basic residues, reminiscent of known SSB-binding sites on other proteins. Using protein-protein cross-linking, site-directed mutagenesis, analytical ultracentrifugation and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we demonstrate that these conserved amino acid residues are involved in the interaction with SSB. Even though the C-terminal domain of DnaG primase also participates in the interaction with DnaB helicase, the respective binding sites on the surface of DnaG-C do not overlap, as SSB binds to the N-terminal subdomain, whereas DnaB interacts with the ultimate C-terminus.

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