In Escherichia coli the oriC-independent primosome plays an essential role in replication restart after dissociation of the replication DNA-protein complex by DNA damage. Primosome is thought to form via two pathways: one PriA dependent and the other PriA independent. PriC is a key protein in the replication restart of the PriA-independent pathway. In this study, we determined that PriC was divided into two domains. Then, we obtained information that: (i) the C-terminal domain preferentially binds to single-stranded DNA (ssDNA); (ii) the binding of PriC to ssDNA depends on salt concentration; and (iii) the binding site size of PriC is approximately 7-9 nucleotides. The protease digestion of PriC suggested that a possible DNA-binding site is the N-terminus of the C-terminal domain where basic amino acid residues are concentrated. Interestingly, α-helical induction of the C-terminal domain of PriC occurred after the addition of DNAs. Also, we examined the role of heptad repeat of leucine or valine residues in the C-terminal domain and PriC oligomerization. This study describes the structure and function analysis of PriC which forms the primosome complex in replication restart.
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