A protein that randomly travels along a single strand of DNA and selectively allows other proteins access to the DNA has been identified by U.S. researchers. It's the first time this type of protein has been found.
It had been assumed that the single-stranded DNA binding protein SSB attached to a site on DNA and later detached. But University of Illinois and Washington University scientists discovered that SSB moves along single-stranded DNA and the protein's movement is independent of the sequence of nucleotides that comprise the DNA, United Press International reported.
The researchers believe that SSB may modulate the activity of a number of proteins involved in DNA repair, recombination and replication. The study appears in the journal Nature.
"SSB may be a master coordinator of all these important processes," said team leader Professor Taekip Ha, UPI reported.