Replication-specific inactivation of the pT181 plasmid initiator protein

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Science  12 Nov 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5136, pp. 1048-1050
DOI: 10.1126/science.8235621


Replication of the Staphylococcus aureus plasmid pT181, which occurs by the rolling circle mechanism, is accompanied by the covalent attachment of a approximately 12-residue oligodeoxy-nucleotide to one subunit of the dimeric plasmid-coded initiator protein, RepC. This oligonucleotide represents the plasmid sequence immediately 3' to the initiating nick site. The resulting heterodimeric protein lacks the topoisomerase and replication activities of unmodified RepC, suggesting that the regulation of plasmid DNA replication requires post-replicational inactivation of the initiator protein as well as control of its synthesis.