PMID: 8385350Apr 1, 1993Paper

Relaxase (TraI) of IncP alpha plasmid RP4 catalyzes a site-specific cleaving-joining reaction of single-stranded DNA

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
W PansegrauE Lanka


Conjugative DNA transfer of the self-transmissible broad-host-range plasmid RP4 is initiated by strand- and site-specific cleavage at the nick site (nic) of the transfer origin (oriT). Cleavage results in covalent attachment of the plasmid-encoded relaxase (TraI) to the 5'-terminal 2'-deoxycytidine residue at nic. We demonstrate that Tyr22 is the center of the catalytic site of TraI, mediating cleavage via formation of a phosphodiester between the DNA 5' phosphoryl and the aromatic hydroxyl group. The specificity of cleavage seen with form I oriT DNA was verified with short oligodeoxy-ribonucleotides embracing the nick region. The reaction requires TraI and Mg2+ but is independent of the relaxosome component TraJ. Cleavage produces one oligonucleotide fragment with a free 3' hydroxyl, the other part forms a covalent TraI-oligonucleotide adduct. Like nicking of form I oriT DNA, TraI-catalyzed oligonucleotide cleavage reaches an equilibrium when about 30% of the input TraI exists as a covalent protein-DNA complex. In the presence of two differently sized oligonucleotides, defined hybrid oligonucleotides are produced, demonstrating that TraI catalyzes recombination of two single strands at nic. This finding shows that TraI possess...Continue Reading


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