In prokaryotes, the RuvA, B, and C proteins play major roles at the late stage of DNA homologous recombination, where RuvB complexed with RuvA acts as an ATP-dependent motor for branch migration. The oligomeric structures of negatively stained and frozen hydrated RuvB from Thermus thermophilus HB8 were investigated by electron microscopy. RuvB oligomers free of DNA formed a ring structure of about 14 nm in diameter. The averaged top view image clearly indicated a sevenfold symmetry, suggesting that it exists as a heptamer. The RuvB oligomers complexed with duplex DNA formed a smaller ring of about 13 nm in diameter. The averaged top view images represented a sixfold symmetry. This difference in oligomerization indicates that the oligomeric structure of RuvB may convert from a heptamer to a hexamer upon DNA binding. In addition, this finding provides the lesson that great care should be taken in investigating the subunit organizations of DNA binding proteins, because their oligomeric states are more sensitive to DNA interactions than expected. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology