Single Strand Binding Protein
Single strand binding protein refers to a means by which the cells prevent opened DNA from re-establishing pre-opening of the double helix conformation at replication fork during the process of DNA replication. In simple terms, single strand binding protein binds to the single-stranded regions of the DNA preventing them from annealing prematurely in order to protect single-stranded DNA from nucleases digestion while removing the secondary structure from DNA allowing for effective functioning of the other enzymes on it.
Production of single stranded DNA occurs during every aspect of metabolism of DNA. This refers to recombination, replication and repair. It also helps in stabilizing the single-stranded DNA. This is because this protein binds to different proteins while modulating function of the involved proteins in different process.
Single strand binding protein has been seen in both organisms and viruses from the bacteria to the humans. The
only living organisms that do not have the single strand binding protein are the Thermoproteales. This is a group of the extremophile archaea. In these organisms, single strand binding protein is replaced by ThermoDBP which is also a protein.
Although many viral and phage SSBs function lime eukaryotes and monomers, the encode heterotrimetic RPA. This is a replication protein A and it is characterized by the SSB and it is also found in bacterial E. coli. Bacterial E. coli is like most SSBs that exist as tetramers. In its active form, E. coli SSS comprises of the four 19kDa subunits that are identical.
Single strand binding protein for DNA to a tetramer may occur in various modes in which SSB occupies different bases numbers of DNA on the basis of various factors such as salt concentration. For instance, there is the (SSB) 65 binding mode where about 65 nucleotides of the DNA are wrapped around SSB tetramer and they contact all the four subunits.
It is favored where there are high concentrations of salt in Vitro. Where there are low salt concentrations, (SSB) 35 binding mode there are approximately 35 nucleotides binding to two SSB subunits. More work is needed to elucidate functions of different binding modes of vivo.
When DNA is converted from the double-stranded form to the single-stranded form, it is said to be denatured. Single strand binding protein prevents renaturing of the denatured DNA strands. This happens either between DNA strands being replicated or in the individual strand being replicated. In the individual strand the concern is with lagging strand.
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