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RecG catalyzes reversal of stalled replication forks in response to replication stress in bacteria. The protein contains a fork recognition ("wedge") domain that binds branched DNA and a superfamily II (SF2) ATPase motor that drives translocation on double-stranded (ds)DNA. The mechanism by which the wedge and motor domains collaborate to catalyze fork reversal in RecG and analogous eukaryotic fork remodelers is unknown. Here, we used electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to probe conformational changes between the wedge and ATPase domains in response to fork DNA binding by RecG. Upon binding DNA, the ATPase-C lobe moves away from both the wedge and ATPase-N domains. This conformational change is consistent with a model of RecG fully engaged with a DNA fork substrate constructed from a crystal structure of RecG bound to a DNA junction together with recent cryo-electron microscopy (EM) structures of chromatin remodelers in complex with dsDNA. We show by mutational analysis that a conserved loop within the translocation in RecG (TRG) motif that was unstructured in the RecG crystal structure is essential for fork reversal and DNA-dependent conformational changes. Together, this work helps provide a more coherent model of fork binding and remodeling by RecG and related eukaryotic enzymes.
Cellular responses often require the fast activation or repression of specific genes, which depends on transcription factors (TFs) that have to quickly find the promoters of these genes within a large genome. TFs search for their DNA promoter target by alternating between bulk diffusion and sliding along the DNA, a mechanism known as facilitated diffusion. We study a facilitated diffusion framework with switching between three search modes: a bulk mode and two sliding modes triggered by conformational changes between two protein conformations. In one conformation (search mode) the TF interacts unspecifically with the DNA backbone resulting in fast sliding. In the other conformation (recognition mode) it interacts specifically and strongly with DNA base pairs leading to slow displacement. From the bulk, a TF associates with the DNA at a random position that is correlated with the previous dissociation point, which implicitly is a function of the DNA structure. The target affinity depends on the conformation. We derive exact expressions for the mean first passage time (MFPT) to bind to the promoter and the conditional probability to bind before detaching when arriving at the promoter site. We systematically explore the parameter space and compare various search scenarios. We compare our results with experimental data for the dimeric Lac repressor search in E. coli bacteria. We find that a coiled DNA conformation is absolutely necessary for a fast MFPT. With frequent spontaneous conformational changes, a fast search time is achieved even when a TF becomes immobilized in the recognition state due to the specific bindings. We find a MFPT compatible with experimental data in presence of a specific TF-DNA interaction energy that has a Gaussian distribution with a large variance.
The conformation of an N(2)-dG adduct arising from the heterocyclic amine 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ), a potent food mutagen, was determined in 5'-d(C(1)T(2)C(3)X(4)G(5)C(6)G(7)C(8)C(9)A(10)T(11)C(12))-3':5'-d(G(13)A(14)T(15)G(16)G(17)C(18)G(19)C(20)C(21)G(22)A(23)G(24))-3'; X = N(2)-dG-IQ, in which the modified nucleotide X(4) corresponds to G(1) in the 5'-d(G(1)G(2)CG(3)CC)-3' NarI restriction endonuclease site. Circular dichroism (CD) revealed blue shifts relative to the unmodified duplex, consistent with adduct-induced twisting, and a hypochromic effect for the IQ absorbance in the near UV region. NMR revealed that the N(2)-dG-IQ adduct adopted a base-displaced intercalated conformation in which the modified guanine remained in the anti conformation about the glycosidic bond, the IQ moiety intercalated into the duplex, and the complementary base C(21) was displaced into the major groove. The processing of the N(2)-dG-IQ lesion by hpol η is sequence-dependent; when placed at the reiterated G(3) position, but not at the G(1) position, this lesion exhibits a propensity for frameshift replication [Choi, J. Y., et al. (2006) J. Biol. Chem., 281, 25297-25306]. The structure of the N(2)-dG-IQ adduct at the nonreiterated G(1) position was compared to that of the same adduct placed at the G(3) position [Stavros, K. M., et al. (2014) Nucleic Acids Res., 42, 3450-3463]. CD indicted minimal spectral differences between the G(1) vs G(3) N(2)-dG-IQ adducts. NMR indicated that the N(2)-dG-IQ adduct exhibited similar base-displaced intercalated conformations at both the G(1) and G(3) positions. This result differed as compared to the corresponding C8-dG-IQ adducts placed at the same positions. The C8-dG-IQ adduct adopted a minor groove conformation when placed at position G(1) but a base-displaced intercalated conformation when placed at position G(3) in the NarI sequence. The present studies suggest that differences in lesion bypass by hpol η may be mediated by differences in the 3'-flanking sequences, perhaps modulating the ability to accommodate transient strand slippage intermediates.
Stalled replication forks are a critical problem for the cell because they can lead to complex genome rearrangements that underlie cell death and disease. Processes such as DNA damage tolerance and replication fork reversal protect stalled forks from these events. A central mediator of these DNA damage responses in humans is the Rad5-related DNA translocase, HLTF. Here, we present biochemical and structural evidence that the HIRAN domain, an ancient and conserved domain found in HLTF and other DNA processing proteins, is a modified oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide (OB) fold that binds to 3' ssDNA ends. We demonstrate that the HIRAN domain promotes HLTF-dependent fork reversal in vitro through its interaction with 3' ssDNA ends found at forks. Finally, we show that HLTF restrains replication fork progression in cells in a HIRAN-dependent manner. These findings establish a mechanism of HLTF-mediated fork reversal and provide insight into the requirement for distinct fork remodeling activities in the cell.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Whole human genome sequencing of individuals is becoming rapid and inexpensive, enabling new strategies for using personal genome information to help diagnose, treat, and even prevent human disorders for which genetic variations are causative or are known to be risk factors. Many of the exploding number of newly discovered genetic variations alter the structure, function, dynamics, stability, and/or interactions of specific proteins and RNA molecules. Accordingly, there are a host of opportunities for biochemists and biophysicists to participate in (1) developing tools to allow accurate and sometimes medically actionable assessment of the potential pathogenicity of individual variations and (2) establishing the mechanistic linkage between pathogenic variations and their physiological consequences, providing a rational basis for treatment or preventive care. In this review, we provide an overview of these opportunities and their associated challenges in light of the current status of genomic science and personalized medicine, the latter often termed precision medicine.
1,3-Butadiene (BD) is an environmental and occupational toxicant classified as a human carcinogen. It is oxidized by cytochrome P450 monooxygenases to 1,2-epoxy-3-butene (EB), which alkylates DNA. BD exposures lead to large numbers of mutations at A:T base pairs even though alkylation of guanines is more prevalent, suggesting that one or more adenine adducts of BD play a role in BD-mediated genotoxicity. However, the etiology of BD-mediated genotoxicity at adenine remains poorly understood. EB alkylates the N(6) exocyclic nitrogen of adenine to form N(6)-(hydroxy-3-buten-1-yl)-2'-dA ((2S)-N(6)-HB-dA) adducts ( Tretyakova , N. , Lin , Y. , Sangaiah , R. , Upton , P. B. , and Swenberg , J. A. ( 1997 ) Carcinogenesis 18 , 137 - 147 ). The structure of the (2S)-N(6)-HB-dA adduct has been determined in the 5'-d(C(1)G(2)G(3)A(4)C(5)Y(6)A(7)G(8)A(9)A(10)G(11))-3':5'-d(C(12)T(13)T(14)C(15)T(16)T(17)G(18)T(19) C(20)C(21)G(22))-3' duplex [Y = (2S)-N(6)-HB-dA] containing codon 61 (underlined) of the human N-ras protooncogene, from NMR spectroscopy. The (2S)-N(6)-HB-dA adduct was positioned in the major groove, such that the butadiene moiety was oriented in the 3' direction. At the Cα carbon, the methylene protons of the modified nucleobase Y(6) faced the 5' direction, which placed the Cβ carbon in the 3' direction. The Cβ hydroxyl group faced toward the solvent, as did carbons Cγ and Cδ. The Cβ hydroxyl group did not form hydrogen bonds with either T(16) O(4) or T(17) O(4). The (2S)-N(6)-HB-dA nucleoside maintained the anti conformation about the glycosyl bond, and the modified base retained Watson-Crick base pairing with the complementary base (T(17)). The adduct perturbed stacking interactions at base pairs C(5):G(18), Y(6):T(17), and A(7):T(16) such that the Y(6) base did not stack with its 5' neighbor C(5), but it did with its 3' neighbor A(7). The complementary thymine T(17) stacked well with both 5' and 3' neighbors T(16) and G(18). The presence of the (2S)-N(6)-HB-dA resulted in a 5 °C reduction in the Tm of the duplex, which is attributed to less favorable stacking interactions and adduct accommodation in the major groove.
RNA interference (RNAi) has become an important tool in functional genomics and has an intriguing therapeutic potential. However, the current design of short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) is not optimal for in vivo applications. Non-ionic phosphate backbone modifications may have the potential to improve the properties of siRNAs, but are little explored in RNAi technologies. Using X-ray crystallography and RNAi activity assays, the present study demonstrates that 3'-CH2-CO-NH-5' amides are excellent replacements for phosphodiester internucleoside linkages in RNA. The crystal structure shows that amide-modified RNA forms a typical A-form duplex. The amide carbonyl group points into the major groove and assumes an orientation that is similar to the P-OP2 bond in the phosphate linkage. Amide linkages are well hydrated by tandem waters linking the carbonyl group and adjacent phosphate oxygens. Amides are tolerated at internal positions of both the guide and passenger strand of siRNAs and may increase the silencing activity when placed near the 5'-end of the passenger strand. As a result, an siRNA containing eight amide linkages is more active than the unmodified control. The results suggest that RNAi may tolerate even more extensive amide modification, which may be useful for optimization of siRNAs for in vivo applications.
© The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.
DNA in its simplest form is an ensemble of nucleic acids, water, and ions, and the conformation of DNA is dependent on the relative proportions of all three components. When DNA is covalently damaged by endogenous or exogenous reactive species, including those produced by some anticancer drugs, the ensemble undergoes localized changes that affect nucleic acid structure, thermodynamic stability, and the qualitative and quantative arrangement of associated cations and water molecules. Fortunately, the biological effects of low levels of DNA damage are successfully mitigated by a large number of proteins that efficiently recognize and repair DNA damage in the midst of a vast excess of canonical DNA. In this Account, we explore the impact of DNA modifications on the high resolution and dynamic structure of DNA, DNA stability, and the uptake of ions and water and explore how these changes may be sensed by proteins whose function is to initially locate DNA lesions. We discuss modifications on the nucleobases that are located in the major and minor grooves of DNA and include lesions that are observed in vivo, including oxidized bases, as well as some synthetic nucleobases that allow us to probe how the location and nature of different substituents affect the thermodynamics and structure of the DNA ensemble. It is demonstrated that disruption of a cation binding site in the major groove by modification of the N7-position on the purines, which is the major site for DNA alkylation, is enthalpically destabilizing. Accordingly, tethering a cationic charge in the major groove is enthalpically stabilizing. The combined structural and thermodynamic studies provide a detailed picture of how different DNA lesions affect the dynamics of DNA and how modified bases interact with their environment. Our work supports the hypothesis that there is a "thermodynamic signature" to DNA lesions that can be exploited in the initial search that requires differentiation between canonical DNA and DNA with a lesion. The differentiation between a lesion and a cognate lesion that is a substrate for a particular enzyme involves another layer of thermodynamic and kinetic factors.
2-Amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinolone (IQ), a heterocyclic amine found in cooked meats, undergoes bioactivation to a nitrenium ion, which alkylates guanines at both the C8-dG and N2-dG positions. The conformation of a site-specific N2-dG-IQ adduct in an oligodeoxynucleotide duplex containing the iterated CG repeat restriction site of the NarI endonuclease has been determined. The IQ moiety intercalates, with the IQ H4a and CH3 protons facing the minor groove, and the IQ H7a, H8a and H9a protons facing the major groove. The adducted dG maintains the anti-conformation about the glycosyl bond. The complementary dC is extruded into the major groove. The duplex maintains its thermal stability, which is attributed to stacking between the IQ moiety and the 5'- and 3'-neighboring base pairs. This conformation is compared to that of the C8-dG-IQ adduct in the same sequence, which also formed a 'base-displaced intercalated' conformation. However, the C8-dG-IQ adopted the syn conformation placing the Watson-Crick edge of the modified dG into the major groove. In addition, the C8-dG-IQ adduct was oriented with the IQ CH3 group and H4a and H5a facing the major groove. These differences may lead to differential processing during DNA repair and replication.