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Reference: Kaplan DL, et al. (2003) Mcm4,6,7 uses a "pump in ring" mechanism to unwind DNA by steric exclusion and actively translocate along a duplex. J Biol Chem 278(49):49171-82

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Abstract


Mcm4,6,7 is a ring-shaped heterohexamer and the putative eukaryotic replication fork helicase. In this study, we examine the mechanism of Mcm4,6,7. Mcm4,6,7 binds to only one strand of a duplex during unwinding, corresponding to the leading strand of a replication fork. Mcm4,6,7 unwinding stops at a nick in either strand. The Mcm4,6,7 ring also actively translocates along duplex DNA, enabling the protein to drive branch migration of Holliday junctions. The Mcm4,6,7 mechanism is very similar to DnaB, except the proteins translocate with opposite polarity along DNA. Mcm4,6,7 and DnaB have different structural folds and evolved independently; thus, the similarity in mechanism is surprising. We propose a "pump in ring" mechanism for both Mcm4,6,7 and DnaB, wherein a single-stranded DNA pump is situated within the central channel of the ring-shaped helicase, and unwinding is the result of steric exclusion. In this example of convergent evolution, the "pump in ring" mechanism was probably selected by eukaryotic and bacterial replication fork helicases in order to restrict unwinding to replication fork structures, stop unwinding when the replication fork encounters a nick, and actively translocate along duplex DNA to accomplish additional activities such as DNA branch migration.

Reference Type
Journal Article
Authors
Kaplan DL, Davey MJ, O'Donnell M
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