Traore, DAK, Wisniewski, JA, Flanigan, SF, Conroy, PJ, Panjikar, S, Mok, Y-F, Lao, C, Griffin, MDW, Adams, V, Rood, JI and Whisstock, JC (2018) Crystal structure of TcpK in complex with oriT DNA of the antibiotic resistance plasmid pCW3. Nature Communications, 9 (1). ISSN 2041-1723

[thumbnail of D Traore - Crystal structure of....pdf]
D Traore - Crystal structure of....pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Conjugation is fundamental for the acquisition of new genetic traits and the development of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic organisms. Here, we show that a hypothetical Clostridium perfringens protein, TcpK, which is encoded by the tetracycline resistance plasmid pCW3, is essential for efficient conjugative DNA transfer. Our studies reveal that TcpK is a member of the winged helix-turn-helix (wHTH) transcription factor superfamily and that it forms a dimer in solution. Furthermore, TcpK specifically binds to a nine-nucleotide sequence that is present as tandem repeats within the pCW3 origin of transfer (oriT). The X-ray crystal structure of the TcpK–TcpK box complex reveals a binding mode centered on and around the β-wing, which is different from what has been previously shown for other wHTH proteins. Structure-guided mutagenesis experiments validate the specific interaction between TcpK and the DNA molecule. Additional studies highlight that the TcpK dimer is important for specific DNA binding.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2019 08:31
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2019 13:57

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item