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A DNA-guided Argonaute Protein Functions in DNA Replication in Thermus thermophilus

By Samson M Jolly, Ildar Gainetdinov, Karina Jouravleva, Han Zhang, Lara Strittmatter, Gregory M. Hendricks, Avantika Dhabaria, Beatrix Ueberheide, Phillip D. Zamore

Posted 09 Dec 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/869172

Argonaute proteins use nucleic acid guides to protect organisms against transposons and viruses. In the eubacterium Thermus thermophilus, the DNA-guided Argonaute TtAgo defends against transformation by DNA plasmids. Here, we report that TtAgo also participates in DNA replication. TtAgo binds small DNA guides derived from the chromosomal region where replication terminates and associates with proteins known to act in DNA replication. T. thermophilus deploys a single type II topoisomerase, gyrase. When gyrase is inhibited, T. thermophilus relies on TtAgo to complete replication of its circular genome; loss of both gyrase and TtAgo activity produces long filaments that fail to separate into individual bacteria. We propose that the primary role of TtAgo is to help T. thermophilus disentangle the catenated circular chromosomes made by DNA replication.

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