Publication of MWB UG and GUMed team in Nucleic Acids Research

Dr Katarzyna Wegrzyn

In the photo, Dr Katarzyna Węgrzyn from the Department of Molecular Biology UG

Professor Igor Konieczny's team from the Department of Molecular Biology MWB UG and GUMed has published a journal entitled: "Defining a novel domain that provides an essential contribution to site-specific interaction of Rep proteins with DNA" in the journal Nucleic Acids Research. - The publication uncovers a new organisation of the domain of a protein responsible for the process of initiating DNA replication in bacterial cells," says Dr Katarzyna Węgrzyn, first author of the journal.

This publication deals with the identification of a new domain of the plasmid replication initiator, TrfA protein, interacting with DNA. The paper shows, that the presence of all domains of the protein interacting with DNA (the newly identified DBD domain and two WH domains) is essential for sequence-specific recognition in the origin of plasmid replication.

- Using a wide range of research techniques, including sophisticated biochemical, genetic, mass spectrometric analyses, and bioinformatics methods, the authors have identified a part of the protein that is a distinct domain that is important for sequence recognition and, together with other domains, allows the protein to bind at a specific site on the DNA molecule. This is a new mechanism conditioning the initiation of DNA replication in bacterial cells. Understanding the mechanism is all the more important as the analysed protein initiates DNA replication conferring antibiotic resistance to pathogenic bacteria. Obtaining these valuable results with the potential to design new therapeutic methods was possible thanks to many years of research conducted in Prof. Konieczny's team and close cooperation with scientists from other centres in Poland and abroad - says Prof. Igor Konieczny from the Department of Molecular Biology.

The work was initiated as part of the PhD project of Dr Elżbieta Zabrocka, and then continued by Dr Katarzyna Węgrzyn. As emphasised by Katarzyna Węgrzyn, cooperation with Prof. Rafael Giraldo from Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas - CSIC in Madrid, Prof. Janusz Bujnicki from the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw and Prof. Jacek Czub from the Gdańsk University of Technology was of great importance.

- Thanks to advanced bioinformatics analyses, a hitherto unknown structure of the protein was described, and by using molecular biology methods, the correctness of the obtained model was verified," says Katarzyna Węgrzyn, PhD.

Dr Katarzyna Bury, Dr Bartłomiej Tomiczek, Dr Miłosz Wieczor, Dr Urszula Uciechowska, Dr Maria Moreno-Del Alamo, Dr Rafał Dutkiewicz, MA Urszula Walkow and MA Igor Grochowina were also listed as authors in the publication.

EMW/Press Team UG