HARP Is an ATP-Driven Annealing Helicase

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Science  31 Oct 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5902, pp. 748-750
DOI: 10.1126/science.1161233

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DNA-dependent adenosine triphosphatases (ATPases) participate in a broad range of biological processes including transcription, DNA repair, and chromatin dynamics. Mutations in the HepA-related protein (HARP) ATPase are responsible for Schimke immuno-osseous dysplasia (SIOD), but the function of the protein is unknown. We found that HARP is an ATP-dependent annealing helicase that rewinds single-stranded DNA bubbles that are stably bound by replication protein A. Other related ATPases, including the DNA translocase Rad54, did not exhibit annealing helicase activity. Analysis of mutant HARP proteins suggests that SIOD is caused by a deficiency in annealing helicase activity. Moreover, the pleiotropy of HARP mutations is consistent with the function of HARP as an annealing helicase that acts throughout the genome to oppose the action of DNA-unwinding activities in the nucleus.

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