Genetic and biochemical characterizations of aLhr1 helicase in the thermophilic crenarchaeon sulfolobus acidocaldarius

Shoji Suzuki, Norio Kurosawa, Takeshi Yamagami, Shunsuke Matsumoto, Tomoyuki Numata, Sonoko Ishino, Yoshizumi Ishino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Homologous recombination (HR) refers to the process of information exchange between homologous DNA duplexes and is composed of four main steps: end resection, strand invasion and formation of a Holliday junction (HJ), branch migration, and resolution of the HJ. Within each step of HR in Archaea, the helicase-promoting branch migration is not fully understood. Previous biochemical studies identified three candidates for archaeal helicase promoting branch migration in vitro: Hjm/Hel308, PINA, and archaeal long helicase related (aLhr) 2. However, there is no direct evidence of their involvement in HR in vivo. Here, we identified a novel helicase encoded by Saci_0814, isolated from the thermophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius; the helicase dissociated a synthetic HJ. Notably, HR frequency in the Saci_0814-deleted strain was lower than that of the parent strain (5-fold decrease), indicating that Saci_0814 may be involved in HR in vivo. Saci_0814 is classified as an aLhr1 under superfamily 2 helicases; its homologs are conserved among Archaea. Purified protein produced in Escherichia coli showed branch migration activity in vitro. Based on both genetic and biochemical evidence, we suggest that aLhr1 is involved in HR and may function as a branch migration helicase in S. acidocaldarius.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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