Sequence-Directed DNA Translocation by Purified FtsK

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Science  28 Jan 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5709, pp. 586-590
DOI: 10.1126/science.1104885

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DNA translocases are molecular motors that move rapidly along DNA using adenosine triphosphate as the source of energy. We directly observed the movement of purified FtsK, an Escherichia coli translocase, on single DNA molecules. The protein moves at 5 kilobases per second and against forces up to 60 piconewtons, and locally reverses direction without dissociation. On three natural substrates, independent of its initial binding position, FtsK efficiently translocates over long distances to the terminal region of the E. coli chromosome, as it does in vivo. Our results imply that FtsK is a bidirectional motor that changes direction in response to short, asymmetric directing DNA sequences.

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