Single-strand binding protein

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A single-strand binding protein is able to bind to single stranded DNA during the process of DNA semi-conservative replication. It prevents the two DNA strands that are being used as templates reannealing to one another[1].

Single-strand binding (SSB) proteins work together with DNA helicase to unwind the helix and expose the template bases. SSB proteins assist helicase by stabilising the unwound, single-strand conformation. They also prevent short hairpin helices from forming by straightening out single-stranded DNA on the lagging strand[2]. SSB binds ssDNA tightly since it has a greater affinity for ssDNA than dsDNA.


  1. N. Campbell.(2005) Biology, 7th edition, USA: Pearson Education Inc
  2. Alberts, B. (2008). Molecular biology of the cell. New York: Garland Science. Pg 273.

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