Sulfolobus chromatin proteins modulate strand displacement by DNA polymerase B1

Nucleic Acids Res. 2013 Sep;41(17):8182-95. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt588. Epub 2013 Jul 1.


Strand displacement by a DNA polymerase serves a key role in Okazaki fragment maturation, which involves displacement of the RNA primer of the preexisting Okazaki fragment into a flap structure, and subsequent flap removal and fragment ligation. We investigated the role of Sulfolobus chromatin proteins Sso7d and Cren7 in strand displacement by DNA polymerase B1 (PolB1) from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus. PolB1 showed a robust strand displacement activity and was capable of synthesizing thousands of nucleotides on a DNA-primed 72-nt single-stranded circular DNA template. This activity was inhibited by both Sso7d and Cren7, which limited the flap length to 3-4 nt at saturating concentrations. However, neither protein inhibited RNA displacement on an RNA-primed single-stranded DNA minicircle by PolB1. Strand displacement remained sensitive to modulation by the chromatin proteins when PolB1 was in association with proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Inhibition of DNA instead of RNA strand displacement by the chromatin proteins is consistent with the finding that double-stranded DNA was more efficiently bound and stabilized than an RNA:DNA duplex by these proteins. Our results suggest that Sulfolobus chromatin proteins modulate strand displacement by PolB1, permitting efficient removal of the RNA primer while inhibiting excessive displacement of the newly synthesized DNA strand during Okazaki fragment maturation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Archaeal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA / biosynthesis*
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Replication Protein C / metabolism
  • Sulfolobus* / enzymology


  • Archaeal Proteins
  • Chromatin
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Sso7d protein, Sulfolobus
  • RNA
  • DNA
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Replication Protein C