Mechanism of replication machinery assembly as revealed by the DNA ligase-PCNA-DNA complex architecture

Kouta Mayanagi, Shinichi Kiyonari, Mihoko Saito, Tsuyoshi Shirai, Yoshizumi Ishino, Kosuke Morikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


The 3D structure of the ternary complex, consisting of DNA ligase, the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) clamp, and DNA, was investigated by single-particle analysis. This report presents the structural view, where the crescent-shaped DNA ligase with 3 distinct domains surrounds the central DNA duplex, encircled by the closed PCNA ring, thus forming a double-layer structure with dual contacts between the 2 proteins. The relative orientations of the DNA ligase domains, which remarkably differ from those of the known crystal structures, suggest that a large domain rearrangement occurs upon ternary complex formation. A second contact was found between the PCNA ring and the middle adenylation domain of the DNA ligase. Notably, the map revealed a substantial DNA tilt from the PCNA ring axis. This structure allows us to propose a switching mechanism for the replication factors operating on the PCNA ring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4647-4652
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Mar 24 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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