The analysis of a large number of independent mutants in the target of one of the inhibitors of pMB1 replication suggests that RNA1 regulates primer formation by base-pairing with the complementary sequence in the primer precursor. We conclude that the number of bases that are involved in the hydrogen bonding responsible for the specificity of the mechanism that controls plasmid replication and incompatibility properties is not much larger than seven. Five of these bases are located in the central loop and two in loop I of the RNA primer cloverleaf structure. Twenty-two single, double or triple mutants, with different nucleotide sequences in these seven bases, maintain an active mechanism of control, though with altered specificity. The efficiency of the inhibition mechanism correlates with the ΔG value of the hydrogen bonds between the nucleotides of the two heptamers postulated to be involved in the interaction. The implications of these findings are discussed, and a molecular model of the interaction between RNA1 and the primer precursor is presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology