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Functional characterization of a conserved archaeal viral operon revealing single-stranded DNA binding, annealing and nuclease activities

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Author(s)

Y. Guo, B. B. Kragelund, M. F. White, X. Peng

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The majority of archaeal viral genes are of unknown function hindering our understanding of the virus life cycle and viral interactions with their host. Here, we first describe functional characterization of ORF131b (gp17) and ORF436 (gp18) of Sulfolobus islandicus rod-shaped virus 2 (SIRV2), both encoding proteins of unknown function and forming an operon with ORF207 (gp19). SIRV2 gp17 was found to be a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding protein different in structure from all previously characterized ssDNA binding proteins. Mutagenesis of a few conserved basic residues suggested a U-shaped binding path for ssDNA. The recombinant gp18 showed an ssDNA annealing activity often associated with helicases and recombinases. To gain insight into the biological role of the entire operon, we characterized SIRV2 gp19 and showed it to possess a 5' → 3' ssDNA exonuclease activity, in addition to the previously demonstrated ssDNA endonuclease activity. Further, in vitro pull-down assay demonstrated interactions between gp17 and gp18 and between gp18 and gp19 with the former being mediated by the intrinsically disordered C-terminus of gp17. The strand-displacement replication mode proposed previously for rudiviruses and the close interaction among the ssDNA binding, annealing and nuclease proteins strongly point to a role of the gene operon in genome maturation and/or DNA recombination that may function in viral DNA replication/repair.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2179-2191
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Volume427
Issue number12
Early online date29 Mar 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2015

    Research areas

  • Archaea virus, ssDNA metabolism, DNA replication/repair, genome maturation

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