Purification and characterization of Thermus thermophilus UvrD
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The DNA helicase UvrD (helicase II) protein plays an important role in nucleotide excision repair, mismatch repair, rolling circular plasmid replication, and in DNA replication. A homologue of the Escherichia coli uvrD gene was previously identified in Thermus thermophilus; however, to date, a UvrD helicase has not been purified and characterized from a thermophile. Here we report the purification and characterization of a UvrD protein from Thermus thermophilus HB8. The purified UvrD has a temperature range from 10° to >65°C, with an optimum of 50°C, within the temperature limits of the assay. The enzyme had a requirement for divalent metal ions and nucleoside triphosphates which related to enzyme activity in the order ATP > dATP > dGTP > GTP >> CTP > dCTP >> UTP. A simple real-time helicase assay was developed that should facilitate detailed kinetic studies of the enzyme. Evaluation of helicase substrates using this assay showed that the enzyme was highly active on a double-stranded DNA with 5′ recessed ends in comparison with substrates with 3′ recessed or blunt ends, and supports enzyme translocation in a 3′–5′ direction relative to the strand bound by the enzyme.
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