Annealing helicase HARP closes RPA-stabilized DNA bubbles non-processively

Daniel R. Burnham, Bas Nijholt, Iwijn De Vlaminck, Jinhua Quan, Timur Yusufzai, Cees Dekker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


We investigate the mechanistic nature of the Snf2 family protein HARP, mutations of which are responsible for Schimke immuno-osseous dysplasia. Using a single-molecule magnetic tweezers assay, we construct RPA-stabilized DNA bubbles within torsionally constrained DNA to investigate the annealing action of HARP on a physiologically relevant substrate. We find that HARP closes RPA-stabilized bubbles in a slow reaction, taking on the order of tens of minutes for ∼600 bp of DNA to be re-annealed. The data indicate that DNA re-anneals through the removal of RPA, which is observed as clear steps in the bubbleclosing traces. The dependence of the closing rate on both ionic strength and HARP concentration indicates that removal of RPA occurs via an association-dissociation mechanism where HARP does not remain associated with the DNA. The enzyme exhibits classical Michaelis-Menten kinetics and acts cooperatively with a Hill coefficient of 3 ± 1. Our work also allows the determination of some important features of RPA-bubble structures at low supercoiling, including the existence of multiple bubbles and that RPA molecules are mis-registered on the two strands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4687-4695
Number of pages9
JournalNucleic Acids Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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