The human stress-activated protein kin17 belongs to the multiprotein DNA replication complex and associates in vivo with mammalian replication origins.

Abstract:

The human stress-activated protein kin17 accumulates in the nuclei of proliferating cells with predominant colocalization with sites of active DNA replication. The distribution of kin17 protein is in equilibrium between chromatin-DNA and the nuclear matrix. An increased association with nonchromatin nuclear structure is observed in S-phase cells. We demonstrated here that kin17 protein strongly associates in vivo with DNA fragments containing replication origins in both human HeLa and monkey CV-1 cells. This association was 10-fold higher than that observed with nonorigin control DNA fragments in exponentially growing cells. In addition, the association of kin17 protein to DNA fragments containing replication origins was also analyzed as a function of the cell cycle. High binding of kin17 protein was found at the G(1)/S border and throughout the S phase and was negligible in both G(0) and M phases. Specific monoclonal antibodies against kin17 protein induced a threefold inhibition of in vitro DNA replication of a plasmid containing a minimal replication origin that could be partially restored by the addition of recombinant kin17 protein. Immunoelectron microscopy confirmed the colocalization of kin17 protein with replication proteins like RPA, PCNA, and DNA polymerase alpha. A two-step chromatographic fractionation of nuclear extracts from HeLa cells revealed that kin17 protein localized in vivo in distinct protein complexes of high molecular weight. We found that kin17 protein purified within an approximately 600-kDa protein complex able to support in vitro DNA replication by means of two different biochemical methods designed to isolate replication complexes. In addition, the reduced in vitro DNA replication activity of the multiprotein replication complex after immunodepletion for kin17 protein highlighted for a direct role in DNA replication at the origins.

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