DNA and Chromosomes
Termination of DNA replication at Tus-ter barriers results in under-replication of template DNAThe complete and accurate duplication of genomic information is vital to maintain genome stability in all domains of life. In Escherichia coli, replication termination, the final stage of the duplication process, is confined to the “replication fork trap” region by multiple unidirectional fork barriers formed by the binding of Tus protein to genomic ter sites. Termination typically occurs away from Tus-ter complexes, but they become part of the fork fusion process when a delay to one replisome allows the second replisome to travel more than halfway around the chromosome.
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.
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.
Nonspecific DNA binding by P1 ParA determines the distribution of plasmid partition and repressor activitiesThe faithful segregation, or “partition,” of many low-copy number bacterial plasmids is driven by plasmid-encoded ATPases that are represented by the P1 plasmid ParA protein. ParA binds to the bacterial nucleoid via an ATP-dependent nonspecific DNA (nsDNA)-binding activity, which is essential for partition. ParA also has a site-specific DNA-binding activity to the par operator (parOP), which requires either ATP or ADP, and which is essential for it to act as a transcriptional repressor but is dispensable for partition.
An autoinhibitory role for the GRF zinc finger domain of DNA glycosylase NEIL3The NEIL3 DNA glycosylase maintains genome integrity during replication by excising oxidized bases from single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and unhooking interstrand cross-links (ICLs) at fork structures. In addition to its N-terminal catalytic glycosylase domain, NEIL3 contains two tandem C-terminal GRF-type zinc fingers that are absent in the other NEIL paralogs. ssDNA binding by the GRF–ZF motifs helps recruit NEIL3 to replication forks converged at an ICL, but the nature of DNA binding and the effect of the GRF–ZF domain on catalysis of base excision and ICL unhooking is unknown.
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.
CRISPR type II-A subgroups exhibit phylogenetically distinct mechanisms for prespacer insertionCRISPR-Cas is an adaptive immune system that protects prokaryotes against foreign nucleic acids. Prokaryotes gain immunity by acquiring short pieces of the invading nucleic acid termed prespacers and inserting them into their CRISPR array. In type II-A systems, Cas1 and Cas2 proteins insert prespacers always at the leader–repeat junction of the CRISPR array. Among type II-A CRISPR systems, three distinct groups (G1, G2, and G3) exist according to the extent of DNA sequence conservation at the 3′ end of the leader.
The yeast Hrq1 helicase stimulates Pso2 translesion nuclease activity and thereby promotes DNA interstrand crosslink repairDNA interstrand crosslink (ICL) repair requires a complex network of DNA damage response pathways. Removal of the ICL lesions is vital, as they are physical barriers to essential DNA processes that require the separation of duplex DNA, such as replication and transcription. The Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway is the principal mechanism for ICL repair in metazoans and is coupled to DNA replication. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a vestigial FA pathway is present, but ICLs are predominantly repaired by a pathway involving the Pso2 nuclease, which is hypothesized to use its exonuclease activity to digest through the lesion to provide access for translesion polymerases.
Protein phosphatase 2A controls ongoing DNA replication by binding to and regulating cell division cycle 45 (CDC45)Genomic replication is a highly regulated process and represents both a potential benefit and liability to rapidly dividing cells; however, the precise post-translational mechanisms regulating genomic replication are incompletely understood. Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a serine/threonine phosphatase that regulates a diverse array of cellular processes. Here, utilizing both a gain-of-function chemical biology approach and loss-of-function genetic approaches to modulate PP2A activity, we found that PP2A regulates DNA replication.
Human replication protein A induces dynamic changes in single-stranded DNA and RNA structuresReplication protein A (RPA) is the major eukaryotic ssDNA-binding protein and has essential roles in genome maintenance. RPA binds to ssDNA through multiple modes, and recent studies have suggested that the RPA–ssDNA interaction is dynamic. However, how RPA alternates between different binding modes and modifies ssDNA structures in this dynamic interaction remains unknown. Here, we used single-molecule FRET to systematically investigate the interaction between human RPA and ssDNA. We show that RPA can adopt different types of binding complexes with ssDNAs of different lengths, leading to the straightening or bending of the ssDNAs, depending on both the length and structure of the ssDNA substrate and the RPA concentration.
Spermidine strongly increases the fidelity of Escherichia coli CRISPR Cas1–Cas2 integraseSite-selective CRISPR array expansion at the origin of bacterial adaptive immunity relies on recognition of sequence-dependent DNA structures by the conserved Cas1–Cas2 integrase. Off-target integration of a new spacer sequence outside canonical CRISPR arrays has been described in vitro. However, this nonspecific integration activity is rare in vivo. Here, we designed gel assays to monitor fluorescently labeled protospacer insertion in a supercoiled 3-kb plasmid harboring a minimal CRISPR locus derived from the Escherichia coli type I-E system.
Function of a strand-separation pin element in the PriA DNA replication restart helicaseDNA helicases are motor proteins that couple the chemical energy of nucleoside triphosphate hydrolysis to the mechanical functions required for DNA unwinding. Studies of several helicases have identified strand-separating “pin” structures that are positioned to intercept incoming dsDNA and promote strand separation during helicase translocation. However, pin structures vary among helicases and it remains unclear whether they confer a conserved unwinding mechanism. Here, we tested the biochemical and cellular roles of a putative pin element within the Escherichia coli PriA DNA helicase.
Dynamic interactions of the homologous pairing 2 (Hop2)–meiotic nuclear divisions 1 (Mnd1) protein complex with meiotic presynaptic filaments in budding yeastHomologous recombination (HR) is a universally conserved DNA repair pathway that can result in the exchange of genetic material. In eukaryotes, HR has evolved into an essential step in meiosis. During meiosis many eukaryotes utilize a two-recombinase pathway. This system consists of Rad51 and the meiosis-specific recombinase Dmc1. Both recombinases have distinct activities during meiotic HR, despite being highly similar in sequence and having closely related biochemical activities, raising the question of how these two proteins can perform separate functions.
Activity and fidelity of human DNA polymerase α depend on primer structureDNA polymerase α (Polα) plays an important role in genome replication. In a complex with primase, Polα synthesizes chimeric RNA–DNA primers necessary for replication of both chromosomal DNA strands. During RNA primer extension with deoxyribonucleotides, Polα needs to use double-stranded helical substrates having different structures. Here, we provide a detailed structure–function analysis of human Polα's interaction with dNTPs and DNA templates primed with RNA, chimeric RNA–DNA, or DNA. We report the crystal structures of two ternary complexes of the Polα catalytic domain containing dCTP, a DNA template, and either a DNA or an RNA primer.
H3K36me3-mediated mismatch repair preferentially protects actively transcribed genes from mutationHistone H3 trimethylation at lysine 36 (H3K36me3) is an important histone mark involved in both transcription elongation and DNA mismatch repair (MMR). It is known that H3K36me3 recruits the mismatch-recognition protein MutSα to replicating chromatin via its physical interaction with MutSα's PWWP domain, but the exact role of H3K36me3 in transcription is undefined. Using ChIP combined with whole-genome DNA sequencing analysis, we demonstrate here that H3K36me3, together with MutSα, is involved in protecting against mutation, preferentially in actively transcribed genomic regions.
Oligomer formation and G-quadruplex binding by purified murine Rif1 protein, a key organizer of higher-order chromatin architectureRap1-interacting protein 1 (Rif1) regulates telomere length in budding yeast. We previously reported that, in metazoans and fission yeast, Rif1 also plays pivotal roles in controlling genome-wide DNA replication timing. We proposed that Rif1 may assemble chromatin compartments that contain specific replication-timing domains by promoting chromatin loop formation. Rif1 also is involved in DNA lesion repair, restart after replication fork collapse, anti-apoptosis activities, replicative senescence, and transcriptional regulation.
Replication origin–flanking roadblocks reveal origin-licensing dynamics and altered sequence dependenceIn eukaryotes, DNA replication initiates from multiple origins of replication for timely genome duplication. These sites are selected by origin licensing, during which the core enzyme of the eukaryotic DNA replicative helicase, the Mcm2-7 (minichromosome maintenance) complex, is loaded at each origin. This origin licensing requires loading two Mcm2-7 helicases around origin DNA in a head-to-head orientation. Current models suggest that the origin–recognition complex (ORC) and cell-division cycle 6 (Cdc6) proteins recognize and encircle origin DNA and assemble an Mcm2-7 double-hexamer around adjacent double-stranded DNA.
Bacterial DnaB helicase interacts with the excluded strand to regulate unwindingReplicative hexameric helicases are thought to unwind duplex DNA by steric exclusion (SE) where one DNA strand is encircled by the hexamer and the other is excluded from the central channel. However, interactions with the excluded strand on the exterior surface of hexameric helicases have also been shown to be important for DNA unwinding, giving rise to the steric exclusion and wrapping (SEW) model. For example, the archaeal Sulfolobus solfataricus minichromosome maintenance (SsoMCM) helicase has been shown to unwind DNA via a SEW mode to enhance unwinding efficiency.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae Red1 protein exhibits nonhomologous DNA end–joining activity and potentiates Hop1-promoted pairing of double-stranded DNAElucidation of the function of synaptonemal complex (SC) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has mainly focused on in vivo analysis of recombination-defective meiotic mutants. Consequently, significant gaps remain in the mechanistic understanding of the activities of various SC proteins and the functional relationships among them. S. cerevisiae Hop1 and Red1 are essential structural components of the SC axial/lateral elements. Previous studies have demonstrated that Hop1 is a structure-selective DNA-binding protein exhibiting high affinity for the Holliday junction and promoting DNA bridging, condensation, and pairing between double-stranded DNA molecules.
The Mcm2–7-interacting domain of human mini-chromosome maintenance 10 (Mcm10) protein is important for stable chromatin association and origin firingThe protein mini-chromosome maintenance 10 (Mcm10) was originally identified as an essential yeast protein in the maintenance of mini-chromosome plasmids. Subsequently, Mcm10 has been shown to be required for both initiation and elongation during chromosomal DNA replication. However, it is not fully understood how the multiple functions of Mcm10 are coordinated or how Mcm10 interacts with other factors at replication forks. Here, we identified and characterized the Mcm2–7-interacting domain in human Mcm10.
The structure and polymerase-recognition mechanism of the crucial adaptor protein AND-1 in the human replisomeDNA replication in eukaryotic cells is performed by a multiprotein complex called the replisome, which consists of helicases, polymerases, and adaptor molecules. Human acidic nucleoplasmic DNA-binding protein 1 (AND-1), also known as WD repeat and high mobility group (HMG)-box DNA-binding protein 1 (WDHD1), is an adaptor molecule crucial for DNA replication. Although structural information for the AND-1 yeast ortholog is available, the mechanistic details for how human AND-1 protein anchors the lagging-strand DNA polymerase α (pol α) to the DNA helicase complex (Cdc45-MCM2–7-GINS, CMG) await elucidation.
A biochemical and biophysical model of G-quadruplex DNA recognition by positive coactivator of transcription 4DNA sequences that are guanine-rich have received considerable attention because of their potential to fold into a secondary, four-stranded DNA structure termed G-quadruplex (G4), which has been implicated in genomic instability and some human diseases. We have previously identified positive coactivator of transcription (PC4), a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-binding protein, as a novel G4 interactor. Here, to expand on these previous observations, we biochemically and biophysically characterized the interaction between PC4 and G4DNA.
The DEAD-box protein DDX43 (HAGE) is a dual RNA-DNA helicase and has a K-homology domain required for full nucleic acid unwinding activityThe K-homology (KH) domain is a nucleic acid-binding domain present in many proteins but has not been reported in helicases. DDX43, also known as HAGE (helicase antigen gene), is a member of the DEAD-box protein family. It contains a helicase core domain in its C terminus and a potential KH domain in its N terminus. DDX43 is highly expressed in many tumors and is, therefore, considered a potential target for immunotherapy. Despite its potential as a therapeutic target, little is known about its activities.
Sap1 is a replication-initiation factor essential for the assembly of pre-replicative complex in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombeA central step in the initiation of chromosomal DNA replication in eukaryotes is the assembly of pre-replicative complex (pre-RC) at late M and early G1 phase of the cell cycles. Since 1973, four proteins or protein complexes, including cell division control protein 6 (Cdc6)/Cdc18, minichromosome maintenance protein complex, origin recognition complex (ORC), and Cdt1, are known components of the pre-RC. Previously, we reported that a non-ORC protein binds to the essential element Δ9 of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe DNA-replication origin ARS3001.