DNA and Chromosomes
The N-terminal domain of human mitochondrial helicase Twinkle has DNA-binding activity crucial for supporting processive DNA synthesis by polymerase γTwinkle is the ring-shaped replicative helicase within the human mitochondria with high homology to bacteriophage T7 gp4 helicase–primase. Unlike many orthologs of Twinkle, the N-terminal domain (NTD) of human Twinkle has lost its primase activity through evolutionarily acquired mutations. The NTD has no demonstrated activity thus far; its role has remained unclear. Here, we biochemically characterize the isolated NTD and C-terminal domain (CTD) with linker to decipher their contributions to full-length Twinkle activities.
The ubiquitin-binding domain of DNA polymerase η directly binds to DNA clamp PCNA and regulates translesion DNA synthesisDNA polymerase eta (Polη) is a unique translesion DNA synthesis (TLS) enzyme required for the error-free bypass of ultraviolet ray (UV)-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers in DNA. Therefore, its deficiency confers cellular sensitivity to UV radiation and an increased rate of UV-induced mutagenesis. Polη possesses a ubiquitin-binding zinc finger (ubz) domain and a PCNA-interacting-protein (pip) motif in the carboxy-terminal region. The role of the Polη pip motif in PCNA interaction required for DNA polymerase recruitment to the stalled replication fork has been demonstrated in earlier studies; however, the function of the ubz domain remains divisive.
Conformational dynamics during misincorporation and mismatch extension defined using a DNA polymerase with a fluorescent artificial amino acidHigh-fidelity DNA polymerases select the correct nucleotide over the structurally similar incorrect nucleotides with extremely high specificity while maintaining fast rates of incorporation. Previous analysis revealed the conformational dynamics and complete kinetic pathway governing correct nucleotide incorporation using a high-fidelity DNA polymerase variant containing a fluorescent unnatural amino acid. Here we extend this analysis to investigate the kinetics of nucleotide misincorporation and mismatch extension.
DNA polymerases η and κ bypass N2-guanine-O6-alkylguanine DNA alkyltransferase cross-linked DNA-peptidesDNA-protein cross-links are formed when proteins become covalently trapped with DNA in the presence of exogenous or endogenous alkylating agents. If left unrepaired, they inhibit transcription as well as DNA unwinding during replication and may result in genome instability or even cell death. The DNA repair protein O6-alkylguanine DNA-alkyltransferase (AGT) is known to form DNA cross-links in the presence of the carcinogen 1,2-dibromoethane, resulting in G:C to T:A transversions and other mutations in both bacterial and mammalian cells.
Interdomain connecting loop and J loop structures determine cross-species compatibility of PCNAEukaryotic proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) plays an essential role in orchestrating the assembly of the replisome complex, stimulating processive DNA synthesis, and recruiting other regulatory proteins during the DNA damage response. PCNA and its binding partner network are relatively conserved in eukaryotes, and it exhibits extraordinary structural similarity across species. However, despite this structural similarity, the PCNA of a given species is rarely functional in heterologous systems.
DNA polymerase λ promotes error-free replication through Watson–Crick impairing N1-methyl-deoxyadenosine adduct in conjunction with DNA polymerase ζIn a previous study, we showed that replication through the N1-methyl-deoxyadenosine (1-MeA) adduct in human cells is mediated via three different Polι/Polθ, Polη, and Polζ-dependent pathways. Based on biochemical studies with these Pols, in the Polι/Polθ pathway, we inferred a role for Polι in the insertion of a nucleotide (nt) opposite 1-MeA and of Polθ in extension of synthesis from the inserted nt; in the Polη pathway, we inferred that this Pol alone would replicate through 1-MeA; in the Polζ pathway, however, the Pol required for inserting an nt opposite 1-MeA had remained unidentified.
Enzymatic bypass of an N6-deoxyadenosine DNA–ethylene dibromide–peptide cross-link by translesion DNA polymerasesUnrepaired DNA–protein cross-links, due to their bulky nature, can stall replication forks and result in genome instability. Large DNA–protein cross-links can be cleaved into DNA–peptide cross-links, but the extent to which these smaller fragments disrupt normal replication is not clear. Ethylene dibromide (1,2-dibromoethane) is a known carcinogen that can cross-link the repair protein O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase (AGT) to the N6 position of deoxyadenosine (dA) in DNA, as well as four other positions in DNA.
Enzymatic bypass and the structural basis of miscoding opposite the DNA adduct 1,N2-ethenodeoxyguanosine by human DNA translesion polymerase ηEtheno (ε)-adducts, e.g., 1,N2-ε−guanine (1,N2-ε-G) and 1,N6-ε−adenine (1,N6-ε-A), are formed through the reaction of DNA with metabolites of vinyl compounds or with lipid peroxidation products. These lesions are known to be mutagenic, but it is unknown how they lead to errors in DNA replication that are bypassed by DNA polymerases. Here we report the structural basis of misincorporation frequencies across from 1,N2-ε-G by human DNA polymerase (hpol) η. In single-nucleotide insertions opposite the adduct 1,N2-ε-G, hpol η preferentially inserted dGTP, followed by dATP, dTTP, and dCTP.
Kinetic investigation of the polymerase and exonuclease activities of human DNA polymerase ε holoenzymeIn eukaryotic DNA replication, DNA polymerase ε (Polε) is responsible for leading strand synthesis, whereas DNA polymerases α and δ synthesize the lagging strand. The human Polε (hPolε) holoenzyme is comprised of the catalytic p261 subunit and the noncatalytic p59, p17, and p12 small subunits. So far, the contribution of the noncatalytic subunits to hPolε function is not well understood. Using pre-steady-state kinetic methods, we established a minimal kinetic mechanism for DNA polymerization and editing catalyzed by the hPolε holoenzyme.
Optimized incorporation of an unnatural fluorescent amino acid affords measurement of conformational dynamics governing high-fidelity DNA replicationDNA polymerase from bacteriophage T7 undergoes large, substrate-induced conformational changes that are thought to account for high replication fidelity, but prior studies were adversely affected by mutations required to construct a Cys-lite variant needed for site-specific fluorescence labeling. Here we have optimized the direct incorporation of a fluorescent un-natural amino acid, (7-hydroxy-4-coumarin-yl)-ethylglycine, using orthogonal amber suppression machinery in Escherichia coli. MS methods verify that the unnatural amino acid is only incorporated at one position with minimal background.
Conformational dynamics during high-fidelity DNA replication and translocation defined using a DNA polymerase with a fluorescent artificial amino acidWe address the role of enzyme conformational dynamics in specificity for a high-fidelity DNA polymerase responsible for genome replication. We present the complete characterization of the conformational dynamics during the correct nucleotide incorporation forward and reverse reactions using stopped-flow and rapid-quench methods with a T7 DNA polymerase variant containing a fluorescent unnatural amino acid, (7-hydroxy-4-coumarin-yl) ethylglycine, which provides a signal for enzyme conformational changes.
Pif1, RPA, and FEN1 modulate the ability of DNA polymerase δ to overcome protein barriers during DNA synthesisSuccessful DNA replication requires carefully regulated mechanisms to overcome numerous obstacles that naturally occur throughout chromosomal DNA. Scattered across the genome are tightly bound proteins, such as transcription factors and nucleosomes, that are necessary for cell function, but that also have the potential to impede timely DNA replication. Using biochemically reconstituted systems, we show that two transcription factors, yeast Reb1 and Tbf1, and a tightly positioned nucleosome, are strong blocks to the strand displacement DNA synthesis activity of DNA polymerase δ.
R-loops promote trinucleotide repeat deletion through DNA base excision repair enzymatic activitiesTrinucleotide repeat (TNR) expansion and deletion are responsible for over 40 neurodegenerative diseases and associated with cancer. TNRs can undergo somatic instability that is mediated by DNA damage and repair and gene transcription. Recent studies have pointed toward a role for R-loops in causing TNR expansion and deletion, and it has been shown that base excision repair (BER) can result in CAG repeat deletion from R-loops in yeast. However, it remains unknown how BER in R-loops can mediate TNR instability.
Lysines in the lyase active site of DNA polymerase β destabilize nonspecific DNA binding, facilitating searching and DNA gap recognitionDNA polymerase (pol) β catalyzes two reactions at DNA gaps generated during base excision repair, gap-filling DNA synthesis and lyase-dependent 5´-end deoxyribose phosphate removal. The lyase domain of pol β has been proposed to function in DNA gap recognition and to facilitate DNA scanning during substrate search. However, the mechanisms and molecular interactions used by pol β for substrate search and recognition are not clear. To provide insight into this process, a comparison was made of the DNA binding affinities of WT pol β, pol λ, and pol μ, and several variants of pol β, for 1-nt-gap-containing and undamaged DNA.
Replication protein A binds RNA and promotes R-loop formationReplication protein A (RPA), a major eukaryotic ssDNA-binding protein, is essential for all metabolic processes that involve ssDNA, including DNA replication, repair, and damage signaling. To perform its functions, RPA binds ssDNA tightly. In contrast, it was presumed that RPA binds RNA weakly. However, recent data suggest that RPA may play a role in RNA metabolism. RPA stimulates RNA-templated DNA repair in vitro and associates in vivo with R-loops, the three-stranded structures consisting of an RNA-DNA hybrid and the displaced ssDNA strand.
Catalytically inactive T7 DNA polymerase imposes a lethal replication roadblockBacteriophage T7 encodes its own DNA polymerase, the product of gene 5 (gp5). In isolation, gp5 is a DNA polymerase of low processivity. However, gp5 becomes highly processive upon formation of a complex with Escherichia coli thioredoxin, the product of the trxA gene. Expression of a gp5 variant in which aspartate residues in the metal-binding site of the polymerase domain were replaced by alanine is highly toxic to E. coli cells. This toxicity depends on the presence of a functional E. coli trxA allele and T7 RNA polymerase-driven expression but is independent of the exonuclease activity of gp5.
Using single-molecule FRET to probe the nucleotide-dependent conformational landscape of polymerase β-DNA complexesEukaryotic DNA polymerase β (Pol β) plays an important role in cellular DNA repair, as it fills short gaps in dsDNA that result from removal of damaged bases. Since defects in DNA repair may lead to cancer and genetic instabilities, Pol β has been extensively studied, especially its mechanisms for substrate binding and a fidelity-related conformational change referred to as “fingers closing.” Here, we applied single-molecule FRET to measure distance changes associated with DNA binding and prechemistry fingers movement of human Pol β.
Ada protein– and sequence context–dependent mutagenesis of alkyl phosphotriester lesions in Escherichia coli cellsAlkyl phosphotriester (alkyl-PTE) lesions are frequently induced in DNA and are resistant to repair. Here, we synthesized and characterized methyl (Me)- and n-butyl (nBu)-PTEs in two diastereomeric configurations (Sp and Rp) at six different flanking dinucleotide sites, i.e. XT and TX (X = A, C, or G), and assessed how these lesions impact DNA replication in Escherichia coli cells. When single-stranded vectors contained an Sp-Me-PTE in the sequence contexts of 5′-AT-3′, 5′-CT-3′, or 5′-GT-3′, DNA replication was highly efficient and the replication products for all three sequence contexts contained 85–90% AT and 5–10% TG.
Genetic evidence for reconfiguration of DNA polymerase θ active site for error-free translesion synthesis in human cellsThe action mechanisms revealed by the biochemical and structural analyses of replicative and translesion synthesis (TLS) DNA polymerases (Pols) are retained in their cellular roles. In this regard, DNA polymerase θ differs from other Pols in that whereas purified Polθ misincorporates an A opposite 1,N6-ethenodeoxyadenosine (ϵdA) using an abasic-like mode, Polθ performs predominantly error-free TLS in human cells. To test the hypothesis that Polθ adopts a different mechanism for replicating through ϵdA in human cells than in the purified Pol, here we analyze the effects of mutations in the two highly conserved tyrosine residues, Tyr-2387 and Tyr-2391, in the Polθ active site.
Impact of 1,N6-ethenoadenosine, a damaged ribonucleotide in DNA, on translesion synthesis and repairIncorporation of ribonucleotides into DNA can severely diminish genome integrity. However, how ribonucleotides instigate DNA damage is poorly understood. In DNA, they can promote replication stress and genomic instability and have been implicated in several diseases. We report here the impact of the ribonucleotide rATP and of its naturally occurring damaged analog 1,N6-ethenoadenosine (1,N6-ϵrA) on translesion synthesis (TLS), mediated by human DNA polymerase η (hpol η), and on RNase H2–mediated incision.
The roles of polymerases ν and θ in replicative bypass of O6- and N2-alkyl-2′-deoxyguanosine lesions in human cellsExogenous and endogenous chemicals can react with DNA to produce DNA lesions that may block DNA replication. Not much is known about the roles of polymerase (Pol) ν and Pol θ in translesion synthesis (TLS) in cells. Here we examined the functions of these two polymerases in bypassing major-groove O6-alkyl-2′-deoxyguanosine (O6-alkyl-dG) and minor-groove N2-alkyl-dG lesions in human cells, where the alkyl groups are ethyl, n-butyl (nBu), and, for O6-alkyl-dG, pyridyloxobutyl. We found that Pol ν and Pol θ promote TLS across major-groove O6-alkyl-dG lesions.
DNA polymerase β nucleotide-stabilized template misalignment fidelity depends on local sequence contextDNA polymerase β has two DNA-binding domains that interact with the opposite sides of short DNA gaps. These domains contribute two activities that modify the 5′ and 3′ margins of gapped DNA during base excision repair. DNA gaps greater than 1 nucleotide (nt) pose an architectural and logistical problem for the two domains to interact with their respective DNA termini. Here, crystallographic and kinetic analyses of 2-nt gap-filling DNA synthesis revealed that the fidelity of DNA synthesis depends on local sequence context.
Molecular and structural characterization of oxidized ribonucleotide insertion into DNA by human DNA polymerase βDuring oxidative stress, inflammation, or environmental exposure, ribo- and deoxyribonucleotides are oxidatively modified. 8-Oxo-7,8-dihydro-2′-guanosine (8-oxo-G) is a common oxidized nucleobase whose deoxyribonucleotide form, 8-oxo-dGTP, has been widely studied and demonstrated to be a mutagenic substrate for DNA polymerases. Guanine ribonucleotides are analogously oxidized to r8-oxo-GTP, which can constitute up to 5% of the rGTP pool. Because ribonucleotides are commonly misinserted into DNA, and 8-oxo-G causes replication errors, we were motivated to investigate how the oxidized ribonucleotide is utilized by DNA polymerases.
Translesion synthesis DNA polymerases η, ι, and ν promote mutagenic replication through the anticancer nucleoside cytarabineCytarabine (AraC) is the mainstay for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. Although complete remission is observed in a large proportion of patients, relapse occurs in almost all the cases. The chemotherapeutic action of AraC derives from its ability to inhibit DNA synthesis by the replicative polymerases (Pols); the replicative Pols can insert AraCTP at the 3′ terminus of the nascent DNA strand, but they are blocked at extending synthesis from AraC. By extending synthesis from the 3′-terminal AraC and by replicating through AraC that becomes incorporated into DNA, translesion synthesis (TLS) DNA Pols could reduce the effectiveness of AraC in chemotherapy.
Repair and translesion synthesis of O6-alkylguanine DNA lesions in human cellsO6-alkyl-2′-deoxyguanosine (O6-alkyl-dG) lesions are among the most mutagenic and prevalent alkylated DNA lesions that are associated with cancer initiation and progression. In this study, using a shuttle vector–based strand-specific PCR-competitive replication and adduct bypass assay in conjunction with tandem MS for product identification, we systematically assessed the repair and replicative bypass of a series of O6-alkyl-dG lesions, with the alkyl group being a Me, Et, nPr, iPr, nBu, iBu, or sBu, in several human cell lines.