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Tryptophan 54 and phenylalanine 60 are involved synergistically in the binding of E. coli SSB protein to single-stranded polynucleotides.

Casas-Finet J.R., Khamis M.I., Maki A.W., Chase J.W.

The binding of both wild-type and point-mutated E. coli single-stranded DNA-binding (SSB) protein to poly(deoxythymidylic acid) has been studied by fluorescence and optical detection of triplet state magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Involvement of tryptophan residues 40 and 54 in stacking interactions with nucleotide bases has been inferred earlier from such studies. Investigation of a point mutation in the E. coli SSB gene product obtained by site specific oligonucleotide mutagenesis in which Phe-60 is replaced by alanine strongly suggests the participation of Phe-60 in the binding process, possibly by the formation of an extended stacking structure by Trp-54, thymine and Phe-60. This hypothesis is supported by results on the point mutations in which His-55 is replaced by either leucine or tyrosine.

FEBS Lett. 220:347-352(1987) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]