Bacteriophage T4 DNA replication protein 41. Cloning of the gene and purification of the expressed protein

J Biol Chem. 1985 Oct 15;260(23):12851-7.


The bacteriophage T4 primase, composed of the T4 proteins 41 and 61, synthesizes pentaribonucleotides used to prime DNA synthesis on single-stranded DNA in vitro. 41 protein is also a DNA helicase that opens DNA in the same direction as the growing replication fork. Previously, Mattson et al. (Mattson, T., Van Houwe, G., Bolle, A., Selzer, G., and Epstein, R. (1977) Mol. Gen. Genet. 154, 319-326) located part of gene 41 on a 3400-base pair EcoRI fragment of T4 DNA (map units 24.3 to 21.15). In this paper, we report the cloning of T4 DNA representing map units 24.3 to 20.06 in a multicopy plasmid vector. Extracts of cells containing this plasmid complement gene 41- extracts in a DNA synthesis assay, indicating that this region contains all the information necessary for the expression of active 41 protein. We located gene 41 more precisely between T4 map units 22.01 to 20.06 since our cloning of this region downstream of the strong lambda promoter PL results in the production of active 41 protein at a level 100-fold greater than after T4 infection. We have purified 133 mg of homogeneous 41 protein from 27 g of these cells. Like the 41 protein from T4 infected cells, the purified 41 protein in conjunction with the T4 gene 61 priming protein catalyzes primer formation (assayed by RNA primer-dependent DNA synthesis with T4 polymerase, the genes 44/62 and 45 polymerase accessory proteins, and the gene 32 helix-destabilizing protein) and is a helicase whose activity is stimulated by T4 61 protein.

MeSH terms

  • Ammonium Sulfate
  • Bacteriophage lambda / genetics
  • Chemical Precipitation
  • Cloning, Molecular*
  • DNA Helicases / metabolism
  • DNA Primase
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • DNA, Recombinant
  • DNA, Viral / biosynthesis
  • DNA, Viral / genetics*
  • Genes, Viral
  • Plasmids
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA Nucleotidyltransferases / genetics
  • RNA Nucleotidyltransferases / metabolism
  • T-Phages / genetics*
  • Viral Proteins / genetics*
  • Viral Proteins / isolation & purification


  • DNA, Recombinant
  • DNA, Viral
  • Viral Proteins
  • DNA Primase
  • RNA Nucleotidyltransferases
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • DNA Helicases
  • Ammonium Sulfate