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

Hexamerization of RepA from the Escherichia coli plasmid pKL1.

The Escherichia coli plasmid pKL1 is one of the smallest bacterial plasmids. It encodes a single, autoregulating structural gene, repA, responsible for replication and copy number control. The oligomerization of RepA was previously proposed as the basis of a strategy for pKL1 copy number control. To elucidate the oligomerization properties of RepA in solution, RepA was expressed in E. coli; purified by ion exchange and hydrophobic chromatography; and examined in solution by spectrapolarimetry, light scattering, sedimentation velocity, and equilibrium ultracentrifugation. RepA behaved as a concentration-dependent equilibrium of dimers and hexamers. Conformational parameters of the RepA hexameric complex were determined. These results support the proposed autogenous regulatory model whereby RepA hexamers negatively regulate repA expression thereby affecting the copy number control of pKL1. RepA of pKL1 is the first plasmid replication initiation protein documented to be in dimeric-hexameric forms.[1]


  1. Hexamerization of RepA from the Escherichia coli plasmid pKL1. Burian, J., Ausió, J., Phipps, B., Moore, S., Dougan, D., Kay, W. Biochemistry (2003) [Pubmed]
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