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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The UL5 and UL52 subunits of the herpes simplex virus type 1 helicase-primase subcomplex exhibit a complex interdependence for DNA binding.

Herpes simplex virus type 1 encodes a heterotrimeric helicase-primase complex composed of the products of the UL5, UL52, and UL8 genes. The UL5 protein contains seven motifs found in all members of helicase Superfamily 1 (SF1), and the UL52 protein contains several conserved motifs found in primases; however, the contributions of each subunit to the biochemical activities of the subcomplex are not clear. In this work, the DNA binding properties of wild type and mutant subcomplexes were examined using single-stranded, duplex, and forked substrates. A gel mobility shift assay indicated that the UL5-UL52 subcomplex binds more efficiently to the forked substrate than to either single strand or duplex DNA. Although nucleotides are not absolutely required for DNA binding, ADP stimulated the binding of UL5-UL52 to single strand DNA whereas ATP, ADP, and adenosine 5'-O-(thiotriphosphate) stimulated the binding to a forked substrate. We have previously shown that both subunits contact single-stranded DNA in a photocross-linking assay (Biswas, N., and Weller, S. K. (1999) J. Biol. Chem. 274, 8068-8076). In this study, photocross-linking assays with forked substrates indicate that the UL5 and UL52 subunits contact the forked substrates at different positions, UL52 at the single-stranded DNA tail and UL5 near the junction between single-stranded and double-stranded DNA. Neither subunit was able to cross-link a forked substrate when 5-iododeoxyuridine was located within the duplex portion. Photocross-linking experiments with subcomplexes containing mutant versions of UL5 and wild type UL52 indicated that the integrity of the ATP binding region is important for DNA binding of both subunits. These results support our previous proposal that UL5 and UL52 exhibit a complex interdependence for DNA binding (Biswas, N., and Weller, S. K. (1999) J. Biol. Chem. 274, 8068-8076) and indicate that the UL52 subunit may play a more active role in helicase activity than had previously been thought.[1]


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