Atomic structure of the clamp loader small subunit from Pyrococcus furiosus

Takuji Oyama, Yoshizumi Ishino, Isaac K.O. Cann, Sonoko Ishino, Kosuke Morikawa

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63 Citations (Scopus)


In eukaryotic DNA replication, replication factor-C (RFC) acts as the clamp loader, which correctly installs the sliding clamp onto DNA strands at replication forks. The eukaryotic RFC is a complex consisting of one large and four small subunits. We have determined the crystal structure of the clamp loader small subunit (RFCS) from Pyrococcus furiosus. The six subunits, of which four bind ADP in their canonical nucleotide binding clefts, assemble into a dimer of semicircular trimers. The crescent-like architecture of each subunit formed by the three domains resembles that of the δ′ subunit of the E. coli clamp loader. The trimeric architecture of archaeal RFCS, with its mobile N-terminal domains, involves intersubunit interactions that may be conserved in eukaryotic functional complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-463
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Cell
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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