Monomers of the Escherichia coli SSB-1 mutant protein bind single-stranded DNA

Wlodzimierz Bujalowski, Timothy M. Lohman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Escherichia coli wild-type single strand binding (SSB) protein is a stable tetramer that binds to single-stranded (ss) DNA in its role in DNA replication, recombination and repair. The ssb-1 mutation, a substitution of tyrosine for histidine-55 within the SSB-1 protein, destabilizes the tetramer with respect to monomers, resulting in a temperature-sensitive defect in a variety of DNA metabolic processes, including replication. Using quenching of the intrinsic SSB-1 tryptophan fluorescence, we have examined the equilibrium binding of the oligonucleotide, dT(pT)15, to the SSB-1 protein in order to determine whether a ssDNA binding site exists within individual SSB-1 monomers or whether the formation of the SSB tetramer is necessary for ssDNA binding. At high SSB-1 protein concentrations, such that the tetramer is stable, we find that four molecules of dT(pT)15 bind per tetramer in a manner similar to that observed for the wild-type SSB tetramer; i.e. negative co-operativity is observed for ssDNA binding to the SSB-1 protomers. As a consequence of this negative co-operativity, binding is biphasic, with two molecules of dT(pT)15 binding to the tetramer in each phase. However, the intrinsic binding constant, K16, for the SSB-1 protomer-dT(pT)15 interaction is a factor of 3 lower than for the wild-type protomer interaction and the negative co-operativity parameter, σ16, is larger in the case of the SSB-1 tetramer, indicating a lower degree of negative co-operativity. At lower SSB-1 concentrations, SSB-1 monomers bind dT(pT)15 without negative co-operativity; however, the intrinsic affinity of dT(pT)15 for the monomer is a factor of ~10 lower than for the protomer (50 mm-NaCl, pH 8.1, 25 °C). Therefore, an individual SSB-1 monomer does possess an independent ssDNA binding site; hence formation of the tetramer is not required for ssDNA binding, although tetramer formation does increase the binding affinity significantly. These data also show that the negative co-operativity among ssDNA binding sites within an SSB tetramer is an intrinsic property of the tetramer. On the basis of these studies, we discuss a modified explanation for the temperature-sensitivity of the ssb-1 phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Volume217
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 5 1991
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Single-Stranded DNA
Protein Subunits
Mutant Proteins
Escherichia coli
Carrier Proteins
Binding Sites
Recombinational DNA Repair
Temperature
DNA Replication
Histidine
Oligonucleotides
Tryptophan
DNA Repair
Tyrosine
Fluorescence
Phenotype
Mutation
DNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

Cite this

Monomers of the Escherichia coli SSB-1 mutant protein bind single-stranded DNA. / Bujalowski, Wlodzimierz; Lohman, Timothy M.

In: Journal of Molecular Biology, Vol. 217, No. 1, 05.01.1991, p. 63-74.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "The Escherichia coli wild-type single strand binding (SSB) protein is a stable tetramer that binds to single-stranded (ss) DNA in its role in DNA replication, recombination and repair. The ssb-1 mutation, a substitution of tyrosine for histidine-55 within the SSB-1 protein, destabilizes the tetramer with respect to monomers, resulting in a temperature-sensitive defect in a variety of DNA metabolic processes, including replication. Using quenching of the intrinsic SSB-1 tryptophan fluorescence, we have examined the equilibrium binding of the oligonucleotide, dT(pT)15, to the SSB-1 protein in order to determine whether a ssDNA binding site exists within individual SSB-1 monomers or whether the formation of the SSB tetramer is necessary for ssDNA binding. At high SSB-1 protein concentrations, such that the tetramer is stable, we find that four molecules of dT(pT)15 bind per tetramer in a manner similar to that observed for the wild-type SSB tetramer; i.e. negative co-operativity is observed for ssDNA binding to the SSB-1 protomers. As a consequence of this negative co-operativity, binding is biphasic, with two molecules of dT(pT)15 binding to the tetramer in each phase. However, the intrinsic binding constant, K16, for the SSB-1 protomer-dT(pT)15 interaction is a factor of 3 lower than for the wild-type protomer interaction and the negative co-operativity parameter, σ16, is larger in the case of the SSB-1 tetramer, indicating a lower degree of negative co-operativity. At lower SSB-1 concentrations, SSB-1 monomers bind dT(pT)15 without negative co-operativity; however, the intrinsic affinity of dT(pT)15 for the monomer is a factor of ~10 lower than for the protomer (50 mm-NaCl, pH 8.1, 25 °C). Therefore, an individual SSB-1 monomer does possess an independent ssDNA binding site; hence formation of the tetramer is not required for ssDNA binding, although tetramer formation does increase the binding affinity significantly. These data also show that the negative co-operativity among ssDNA binding sites within an SSB tetramer is an intrinsic property of the tetramer. On the basis of these studies, we discuss a modified explanation for the temperature-sensitivity of the ssb-1 phenotype.",
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