38 Scopus citations


In Saccharomyces cerevisiae Pif1 participates in a wide variety of DNA metabolic pathways both in the nucleus and in mitochondria. The ability of Pif1 to hydrolyse ATP and catalyse unwinding of duplex nucleic acid is proposed to be at the core of its functions. We recently showed that upon binding to DNA Pif1 dimerizes and we proposed that a dimer of Pif1 might be the species poised to catalysed DNA unwinding. In this work we show that monomers of Pif1 are able to translocate on single-stranded DNA with 5′ to 3′ directionality. We provide evidence that the translocation activity of Pif1 could be used in activities other than unwinding, possibly to displace proteins from ssDNA. Moreover, we show that monomers of Pif1 retain some unwinding activity although a dimer is clearly a better helicase, suggesting that regulation of the oligomeric state of Pif1 could play a role in its functioning as a helicase or a translocase. Finally, although we show that Pif1 can translocate on ssDNA, the translocation profiles suggest the presence on ssDNA of two populations of Pif1, both able to translocate with 5′ to 3′ directionality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4613-4627
Number of pages15
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2013


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