Allele-specific protein-DNA interactions between the single-stranded DNA-binding protein, ssA-TIBF, and DNA replication determinants in Tetrahymena. Academic Article uri icon


  • Type I elements are multifunctional, cis-acting determinants that regulate the initiation of DNA replication, replication fork movement and transcription of the Tetrahymena thermophila rDNA minichromosome. Previous studies identified a protein, ssA-TIBF, that binds specifically to the A-rich strand of type I elements. Here, we examine interactions of ssA-TIBF with the wild-type C3 allele, and a natural variant, B rDNA, which manifests a defect in replication initiation and fork pausing. Purified ssA-TIBF is a homotetramer that binds one substrate molecule and contacts DNA via a single 24 kDa subunit. Both the A-rich and T-rich strands of type I elements are bound by ssA-TIBF, suggesting that this protein might stabilize replication origins in their unwound state. Nucleotides downstream of type I elements contribute to DNA binding, with the extent of DNA-protein contact being greater for wild-type C3 rDNA compared to B rDNA. Allele-specific protein-DNA contacts also occur within the conserved type I element itself. Despite these differences, the binding affinities of ssA-TIBF for C3 and B rDNA substrates are indistinguishable. Consequently, the mode of DNA binding must account for any role ssA-TIBF might play in the regulation of rDNA replication.

published proceedings

  • J Mol Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Saha, S., & Kapler, G. M

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Saha, S||Kapler, GM

publication date

  • January 2000