James L. Keck

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When duplex DNA is altered in almost any way (replicated, recombined, or repaired), single strands of DNA are usually intermediates, and single-stranded DNA binding (SSB) proteins are present. These proteins have often been described as inert, protective DNA coatings. Continuing research is demonstrating a far more complex role of SSB that includes the(More)
RecQ family helicases catalyze critical genome maintenance reactions in bacterial and eukaryotic cells, playing key roles in several DNA metabolic processes. Mutations in recQ genes are linked to genome instability and human disease. To define the physical basis of RecQ enzyme function, we have determined a 1.8 A resolution crystal structure of the(More)
Single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-binding (SSB) proteins are uniformly required to bind and protect single-stranded intermediates in DNA metabolic pathways. All bacterial and eukaryotic SSB proteins studied to date oligomerize to assemble four copies of a conserved domain, called an oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding (OB) fold, that cooperate in nonspecific(More)
Histone acetylation and nucleosome remodeling regulate DNA damage repair, replication and transcription. Rtt109, a recently discovered histone acetyltransferase (HAT) from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, functions with the histone chaperone Asf1 to acetylate lysine K56 on histone H3 (H3K56), a modification associated with newly synthesized histones. In vitro(More)
RecQ DNA helicases are critical components of DNA replication, recombination, and repair machinery in all eukaryotes and bacteria. Eukaryotic RecQ helicases are known to associate with numerous genome maintenance proteins that modulate their cellular functions, but there is little information regarding protein complexes involving the prototypical bacterial(More)
The Sir1 protein plays a key role in establishing a silent chromatin structure at the cryptic mating-type loci HMR and HML in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by interacting with the bromo-adjacent homology (BAH) domain of the Orc1p subunit of the origin recognition complex (ORC). Here, we present the high-resolution crystal structures of the ORC interaction region(More)
In all organisms, type II DNA topoisomerases are essential for untangling chromosomal DNA. We have determined the structure of the DNA-binding core of the Methanococcus jannaschii DNA topoisomerase VI A subunit at 2.0 A resolution. The overall structure of this subunit is unique, demonstrating that archaeal type II enzymes are distinct from other type II(More)
RecQ DNA helicases function in DNA replication, recombination and repair. Although the precise cellular roles played by this family of enzymes remain elusive, the importance of RecQ proteins is clear; mutations in any of three human RecQ genes lead to genomic instability and cancer. In this report, proteolysis is used to define a two-domain structure for(More)
RecQ DNA helicases are critical for proper maintenance of genomic stability, and mutations in multiple human RecQ genes are linked with genetic disorders characterized by a predisposition to cancer. RecQ proteins are conserved from prokaryotes to humans and in all cases form higher-order complexes with other proteins to efficiently execute their cellular(More)
The frequency with which replication forks break down in all organisms requires that specific mechanisms ensure completion of genome duplication. In Escherichia coli a major pathway for reloading of the replicative apparatus at sites of fork breakdown is dependent on PriA helicase. PriA acts in conjunction with PriB and DnaT to effect loading of the(More)