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Dimerization of simian virus 40 T-antigen hexamers activates T-antigen DNA helicase activity.

By N V Smelkova and J A Borowiec


Chromosomal DNA replication in higher eukaryotes takes place in DNA synthesis factories containing numerous replication forks. We explored the role of replication fork aggregation in vitro, using as a model the simian virus 40 (SV40) large tumor antigen (T antigen), essential for its DNA helicase and origin-binding activities. Previous studies have shown that T antigen binds model DNA replication forks primarily as a hexamer (TAgH) and to a lesser extent as a double hexamer (TAgDH). We find that DNA unwinding in the presence of ATP or other nucleotides strongly correlates with the formation of TAgDH-DNA fork complexes. TAgH- and TAgDH-fork complexes were isolated, and the TAgDH-bound fork was denatured at a 15-fold-higher rate during the initial times of unwinding. TAgDH bound preferentially to a DNA substrate containing a 50-nucleotide bubble, indicating the bridging of each single-stranded DNA/duplex DNA junction, and this DNA molecule was also unwound at a high rate. Both the TAgH- and TAgDH-fork complexes were relatively stable, with the half-life of the TAgDH-fork complex greater than 40 min. Our data therefore indicate that the linking of two viral replication forks serves to activate DNA replication

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1997
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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