The 44P subunit of the T4 DNA polymerase accessory protein complex catalyzes ATP hydrolysis.


The genes encoding all three T4 DNA polymerase accessory proteins have been cloned into overexpression plasmids. Induction of cells harboring these plasmids results in the synthesis of each accessory protein at levels that approach 10% of the total cellular protein. The solubility of the accessory proteins after induction at 42 degrees C ranges from about 60% to greater than 95%. A plasmid that allows overexpression of the 44P/62P complex has been manipulated further to overexpress selectively the 44P subunit without 62P, permitting us to assess how each subunit contributes to the properties of the 44P/62P complex. A comparison of 44P and 44P/62P by conventional hydrodynamic techniques shows that 44P forms a subcomplex nearly as large as the 44P/62P complex. In addition, 44P catalyzes DNA-dependent ATP hydrolysis with a specific activity similar to that of the 44P/62P ATPase. However, unlike the 44P/62P complex, the ATPase activity of 44P alone is only slightly stimulated by 45P. This suggests that one role of the 62P subunit is to facilitate a productive interaction of 44P and 45P.





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