The Escherichia coli ruvA and ruvB genes constitute an SOS-regulated operon. The products of these genes form a protein complex that promotes branch migration of the Holliday junction, an intermediate of homologous recombination. RuvA protein binds specifically to the Holliday junction and recruits RuvB protein to the junction. RuvB is an ATP-driven motor protein involved in branch migration. We previously cloned the ruvB gene of the thermophilic bacterium Thermus thermophilus HB8 (Tth) and found that, in contrast to the operon structure in most mesothermic bacteria, the ruvA gene is absent from the vicinity of ruvB. In this work, we cloned the ruvA gene from T. thermophilus HB8 and analyzed its nucleotide sequence. Tth RuvA is a protein of 20,414 Da consisting of 191 amino acid residues, and is 37% identical in amino acid sequence to E. coli RuvA. Tth ruvA complemented the DNA repair defect of E. coli ΔruvA mutants. The purified Tth RuvA protein stimulated Tth RuvB activities, such as hydrolysis of ATP and promotion of branch migration of the Holliday junction, in a manner similar to the RuvA-RuvB interactions observed in E. coli. In addition, Tth RuvA stimulated the E. coli RuvB activities in vitro, which was well consistent with the results of in vivo hetero-complementation experiments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology