As a guardian of the bacterial genome, the RecG DNA helicase repairs DNA replication and rescues stalled replication. We applied atomic force microscopy (AFM) to directly visualize dynamics of RecG upon the interaction with replication fork substrates in the presence and absence of SSB using high-speed AFM. We directly visualized that RecG moves back and forth over dozens of base pairs in the presence of SSB. There is no RecG translocation in the absence of SSB. Computational modeling was performed to build models of Escherichia coli RecG in a free state and in complex with the fork. The simulations revealed the formation of complexes of RecG with the fork and identified conformational transitions that may be responsible for RecG remodeling that can facilitate RecG translocation along the DNA duplex. Such complexes do not form with the DNA duplex, which is in line with experimental data. Overall, our results provide mechanistic insights into the modes of interaction of RecG with the replication fork, suggesting a novel role of RecG in the repair of stalled DNA replication forks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas