Single-stranded DNA binding activity of XPBI, but not XPBII, from Sulfolobus tokodaii causes double-stranded DNA melting.
ABSTRACT XPB helicase is the largest subunit of transcription factor IIH (TFIIH), a ten-subunit protein complex essential for transcription initiation and nucleotide excision repair (NER) in Eukarya. Two XPB homologues (XPBI and XPBII) are present in the genome of most crenarchaeota, one of the two major phyla of archaea; however, the biochemical properties have not been fully characterized and their cellular roles have not been clearly defined. Here, we report that XPBI from the hyperthermophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus tokodaii (StoXPBI) is able to destabilize double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) helix independent of ATP (designated as dsDNA melting activity). This activity is inhibited by single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and relies on the unique N-terminal domain of StoXPBI, which is also likely responsible for the intrinsic strong ssDNA binding activity of StoXPBI as revealed by deletion analysis. We demonstrate that the ATPase activity of StoXPBII is remarkably stimulated by StoBax1, a nuclease partner of StoXPBII. The role of the unique dsDNA melting activity of XPBI in NER in archaea was discussed.