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

The single-stranded-DNA-binding proteins ( SSB) of Proteus mirabilis and Serratia marcescens.

The single-stranded-DNA-binding ( SSB) proteins from Proteus mirabilis and Serratia marcescens were purified from overproducing Escherichia coli strains, which were devoid of their own ssb gene. The strains harboured an endA insertion mutation and a xonA mutation resulting in the absence of endonuclease I and exonuclease I activities from the preparations. The amino acid sequences of the SSB of all three species are nearly identical in the N-terminal parts of the proteins that contain the DNA-binding domain, but differ in the C-terminal parts. Both proteins have an apparent binding-site size of 65 and 35 nucleotides at high and low salt concentrations, respectively. The association-rate constant for binding to poly(dT) is 3.2 x 10(8) M-1 s-1 for P. mirabilis SSB (PmiSSB) and 3.4 x 10(8) M-1 s-1 for S. marcescens SSB (SmaSSB). These binding parameters are very similar to those of E. coli SSB (EcoSSB). The structural similarity of the proteins is also documented by the finding that they can exchange subunits among each other to form mixed tetramers. The transcriptional regulation of the ssb and uvrA genes from P. mirabilis and S. marcescens in SOS- induced E. coli cells was studied using lacZ fusions. While the uvrA genes were inducible, there was no induction of the ssb genes transcribed divergently from the uvrA genes. Apparently, regions with nucleotide sequence similarity to the E. coli SOS-box preceding the ssb genes of P. mirabilis and S. marcescens had no gross effect on the transcription. Studies on growth of the cells and recovery from ultraviolet damage indicate that the heterologous SSB proteins support DNA replication and recombinational DNA repair of E. coli with the same efficiency as the E. coli SSB protein. Interactions with other E. coli proteins involved in these processes either do not occur, or are not impeded.[1]


  1. The single-stranded-DNA-binding proteins (SSB) of Proteus mirabilis and Serratia marcescens. De Vries, J., Genschel, J., Urbanke, C., Thole, H., Wackernagel, W. Eur. J. Biochem. (1994) [Pubmed]
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