Properties of the T4 bacteriophage DNA replication apparatus: the T4 dda DNA helicase is required to pass a bound RNA polymerase molecule

Cell. 1983 Aug;34(1):115-23. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(83)90141-1.


The interaction of DNA replication forks with both stationary and transcribing RNA polymerase molecules has been examined in vitro, using the multienzyme T4 bacteriophage DNA replication system and purified E. coli RNA polymerase. We have found that a single stationary RNA polymerase molecule can block the movement of the T4 replication fork when bound to a promoter on a double-stranded fd DNA template. When transcription is allowed (in the same direction as replication), the replication fork appears to follow the moving RNA polymerase molecule at the relatively slow rate of transcription. The barriers to fork movement formed by E. coli RNA polymerase are eliminated by the addition of small amounts of a purified T4-encoded DNA helicase, the product of the dda gene. We find that replication complexes containing the dda protein cause stationary RNA polymerase molecules to dissociate from the DNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism*
  • DNA Helicases*
  • DNA Replication*
  • DNA, Viral / metabolism
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • T-Phages / enzymology*
  • T-Phages / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Virus Replication*


  • DNA, Viral
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • DNA Helicases