The Uup protein belongs to a subfamily of soluble ATP-binding cassette (ABC) ATPases that have been implicated in several processes different from transmembrane transport of molecules, such as transposon precise excision. We have demonstrated previously that Escherichia coli Uup is able to bind DNA. DNA binding capacity is lowered in a truncated Uup protein lacking its C-terminal domain (CTD), suggesting a contribution of CTD to DNA binding. In the present study, we characterize the role of CTD in the function of Uup, on its overall stability and in DNA binding. To this end, we expressed and purified isolated CTD and we investigated the structural and functional role of this domain. The results underline that CTD is essential for the function of Uup, is stable and able to fold up autonomously. We compared the DNA binding activities of three versions of the protein (Uup, UupΔCTD and CTD) by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay. CTD is able to bind DNA although less efficiently than intact Uup and UupΔCTD. These observations suggest that CTD is an essential domain that contributes directly to the DNA binding ability of Uup. © 2009 Elsevier B.V.
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