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Reconstitution Of F Factor DNA Replication In Vitro With Purified Proteins*

S. Zzaman, M. Abhyankar, D. Bastia
Published 2004 · Medicine, Biology

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Jacob, Brenner, and Cuzin pioneered the development of the F plasmid as a model system to study replication control, and these investigations led to the development of the “replicon model” (Jacob, F., Brenner, S., and Cuzin, F. (1964) Cold Spring Harbor Symp. Quant. Biol. 28, 329–348). To elucidate further the mechanism of initiation of replication of this plasmid and its control, we have reconstituted its replication in vitro with 21 purified host-encoded proteins and the plasmid-encoded initiator RepE. The replication in vitro was specifically initiated at the F ori (oriV) and required both the bacterial initiator protein DnaA and the plasmid-encoded initiator RepE. The wild type dimeric RepE was inactive in catalyzing replication, whereas a monomeric mutant form called RepE* (R118P) was capable of catalyzing vigorous replication. The replication topology was mostly of the Cairns form, and the fork movement was unidirectional and mostly from right to left. The replication was dependent on the HU protein, and the structurally and functionally related DNA bending protein IHF could not efficiently substitute for HU. The priming was dependent on DnaG primase. Many of the characteristics of the in vitro replication closely mimicked those of in vivo replication. We believe that the in vitro system should be very useful in unraveling the mechanism of replication initiation and its control.
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