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A nucleotide-dependent oligomerization of the Escherichia coli replication initiator DnaA requires residue His136 for remodel...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Nucleic Acids Research
Publication Date
Page Numbers
200 to 211

Escherichia coli replication initiator protein DnaA binds ATP with high affinity but the amount of ATP required to initiate replication greatly exceeds the amount required for binding. Previously, we showed that ATP-DnaA, not ADP-DnaA, undergoes a conformational change at the higher nucleotide concentration, which allows DnaA oligomerization at the replication origin but the association state remains unclear. Here, we used Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS) to investigate oligomerization of DnaA in solution. Whereas ADP-DnaA was predominantly monomeric, AMP–PNP–DnaA (a non-hydrolysable ATP-analog bound-DnaA) was oligomeric, primarily dimeric. Functional studies using DnaA mutants revealed that DnaA(H136Q) is defective in initiating replication in vivo. The mutant retains high-affinity ATP binding, but was defective in producing replication-competent initiation complexes. Docking of ATP on a structure of E. coli DnaA, modeled upon the crystallographic structure of Aquifex aeolicus DnaA, predicts a hydrogen bond between ATP and imidazole ring of His136, which is disrupted when Gln is present at position 136. SAXS performed on AMP–PNP–DnaA (H136Q) indicates that the protein has lost its ability to form oligomers. These results show the importance of high ATP in DnaA oligomerization and its dependence on the His136 residue.