Interactions between the Escherichia coli primary replicative helicase DnaB protein and nucleotide cofactors have been studied using several fluorescent nucleotide analogs and unmodified nucleotides. The thermodynamically rigorous fluorescent titration technique has been used to obtain true binding isotherms, independently of the assumptions of any relationships between the observed quenching of protein fluorescence and the degree of nucleotide binding. Fluorescence titrations using several MANT derivatives of nucleoside diphosphates (MANT-ADP, 3',2'-O-(N- methylantraniloyl adenosine-5'-diphosphate; MANT-GDP, 3',2'-O-(N- methylantraniloyl)guanosine-5'-diphosphate; MANT-CDP, 3',2'-O-(N- methylantraniloyl)cytidine-5'-diphosphate; MANT-UDP, 3',2'-O-(N- methylantraniloyl)uridine-5'-diphosphate) have shown that the DnaB helicase has a preference for purine nucleotides. Binding of all modified nucleotides is characterized by similar negative cooperativity, indicating that negative cooperative interactions are base-independent. Thermodynamic parameters for the interactions of the unmodified nucleotides (ADP, GDP, CDP, and UDP) and inorganic phosphate (P(i)) have been obtained by using the competition titration approach. To analyze multiple ligand binding to a finite circular lattice, for a general case in which each lattice binding site can exist in different multiple states, we developed a matrix method approach to derive analytical expressions for the partition function and the average degree of binding for such cases. Application of the theory to competition titrations has allowed us to extract the intrinsic binding constants and cooperativity parameters for all unmodified ligands. This is the first quantitative estimate of affinities and the mechanism of binding of different unmodified nucleotides and inorganic phosphate for a hexameric helicase. The intrinsic affinities of all of the studied ATP analogs are lower than the intrinsic affinities of the corresponding ADP analogs. The implications of these results for the mechanism of helicase action are discussed.
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