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Spo0J regulates the oligomeric state of Soj to trigger its switch from an activator to an inhibitor of DNA replication initiation

Lookup NU author(s): Graham Scholefield, Professor Jeff ErringtonORCiD, Professor Heath Murray


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Control of DNA replication initiation is essential for bacterial cells to co-ordinate the faithful replication and segregation of their genetic material. The Bacillus subtilis ATPase Soj is a dynamic protein that regulates DNA replication initiation by either inhibiting or activating the DNA replication initiator protein DnaA. Here we report that the key event which switches Soj regulatory activity is a transition in its oligomeric state from a monomer to an ATP-dependent homodimer capable of DNA binding. We show that the DNA binding activity of the Soj dimer is required both for activation of DNA replication initiation and for interaction with Spo0J. Finally, we demonstrate that Spo0J inhibits Soj dimerization by stimulating Soj ATPase activity. The data provide a molecular explanation for the dichotomous regulatory activities of Soj, as well as assigning unique Soj conformations to distinct cellular localization patterns. We discuss how the regulation of Soj ATPase activity by Spo0J could be utilized to control the initiation of DNA replication during the cell cycle.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Scholefield G, Whiting R, Errington J, Murray H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Molecular Microbiology

Year: 2011

Volume: 79

Issue: 4

Pages: 1089-1100

Print publication date: 01/02/2011

ISSN (print): 0950-382X

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2958

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2010.07507.x


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Funder referenceFunder name
European Molecular Biology Organization
Human Frontier Science Program
Royal Society