Effects of the bacteriophage T4 dda protein on DNA synthesis catalyzed by purified T4 replication proteins

J Biol Chem. 1984 Oct 25;259(20):12933-8.


The T4 bacteriophage dda protein is a DNA-dependent ATPase and DNA helicase that is the product of an apparently nonessential T4 gene. We have examined its effects on in vitro DNA synthesis catalyzed by a purified, multienzyme T4 DNA replication system. When DNA synthesis is catalyzed by the T4 DNA polymerase on a single-stranded DNA template, the addition of the dda protein is without effect whether or not other replication proteins are present. In contrast, on a double-stranded DNA template, where a mixture of the DNA polymerase, its accessory proteins, and the gene 32 protein is required, the dda protein greatly stimulates DNA synthesis. The dda protein exerts this effect by speeding up the rate of replication fork movement; in this respect, it acts identically with the other DNA helicase in the T4 replication system, the T4 gene 41 protein. However, whereas a 41 protein molecule remains bound to the same replication fork for a prolonged period, the dda protein seems to be continually dissociating from the replication fork and rebinding to it as the fork moves. Some gene 32 protein is required to observe DNA synthesis on a double-stranded DNA template, even in the presence of the dda protein. However, there is a direct competition between this helix-destabilizing protein and the dda protein for binding to single-stranded DNA, causing the rate of replication fork movement to decrease at a high ratio of gene 32 protein to dda protein. As shown elsewhere, the dda protein becomes absolutely required for in vitro DNA synthesis when E. coli RNA polymerase molecules are bound to the DNA template, because these molecules otherwise stop fork movement (Bedinger, P., Hochstrasser, M., Jongeneel, C.V., and Alberts, B. M. (1983) Cell 34, 115-123).

MeSH terms

  • DNA Helicases / metabolism*
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / genetics
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Genes
  • Genes, Viral
  • Kinetics
  • T-Phages / genetics*
  • Templates, Genetic
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism*


  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • Viral Proteins
  • DNA replicase
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • DNA Helicases