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BLM helicase measures DNA unwound before switching strands and hRPA promotes unwinding reinitiation


Yodh, J G; Stevens, B C; Kanagaraj, R; Janscak, P; Ha, T (2009). BLM helicase measures DNA unwound before switching strands and hRPA promotes unwinding reinitiation. The EMBO Journal, 28(4):405-416.

Abstract

Bloom syndrome (BS) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by genomic instability and a high predisposition to cancer. The gene defective in BS, BLM, encodes a member of the RecQ family of 3'-5' DNA helicases, and is proposed to function in recombinational repair during DNA replication. Here, we have utilized single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer microscopy to examine the behaviour of BLM on forked DNA substrates. Strikingly, BLM unwound individual DNA molecules in a repetitive manner, unwinding a short length of duplex DNA followed by rapid reannealing and reinitiation of unwinding in several successions. Our results show that a monomeric BLM can 'measure' how many base pairs it has unwound, and once it has unwound a critical length, it reverses the unwinding reaction through strand switching and translocating on the opposing strand. Repetitive unwinding persisted even in the presence of hRPA, and interaction between wild-type BLM and hRPA was necessary for unwinding reinitiation on hRPA-coated DNA. The reported activities may facilitate BLM processing of stalled replication forks and illegitimately formed recombination intermediates.

Abstract

Bloom syndrome (BS) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by genomic instability and a high predisposition to cancer. The gene defective in BS, BLM, encodes a member of the RecQ family of 3'-5' DNA helicases, and is proposed to function in recombinational repair during DNA replication. Here, we have utilized single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer microscopy to examine the behaviour of BLM on forked DNA substrates. Strikingly, BLM unwound individual DNA molecules in a repetitive manner, unwinding a short length of duplex DNA followed by rapid reannealing and reinitiation of unwinding in several successions. Our results show that a monomeric BLM can 'measure' how many base pairs it has unwound, and once it has unwound a critical length, it reverses the unwinding reaction through strand switching and translocating on the opposing strand. Repetitive unwinding persisted even in the presence of hRPA, and interaction between wild-type BLM and hRPA was necessary for unwinding reinitiation on hRPA-coated DNA. The reported activities may facilitate BLM processing of stalled replication forks and illegitimately formed recombination intermediates.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Molecular Cancer Research
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Cancer Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:16 Feb 2010 09:09
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 00:18
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0261-4189
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/emboj.2008.298
PubMed ID:19165145

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