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.
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.
Two components of DNA replication-dependent LexA cleavageInduction of the SOS response, a cellular system triggered by DNA damage in bacteria, depends on DNA replication for the generation of the SOS signal, ssDNA. RecA binds to ssDNA, forming filaments that stimulate proteolytic cleavage of the LexA transcriptional repressor, allowing expression of > 40 gene products involved in DNA repair and cell cycle regulation. Here, using a DNA replication system reconstituted in vitro in tandem with a LexA cleavage assay, we studied LexA cleavage during DNA replication of both undamaged and base-damaged templates.
Transient kinetic analysis of oxidative dealkylation by the direct reversal DNA repair enzyme AlkBAlkB is a bacterial Fe(II)– and 2-oxoglutarate–dependent dioxygenase that repairs a wide range of alkylated nucleobases in DNA and RNA as part of the adaptive response to exogenous nucleic acid–alkylating agents. Although there has been longstanding interest in the structure and specificity of Escherichia coli AlkB and its homologs, difficulties in assaying their repair activities have limited our understanding of their substrate specificities and kinetic mechanisms. Here, we used quantitative kinetic approaches to determine the transient kinetics of recognition and repair of alkylated DNA by AlkB.
Unlike the Escherichia coli counterpart, archaeal RNase HII cannot process ribose monophosphate abasic sites and oxidized ribonucleotides embedded in DNAThe presence of ribonucleoside monophosphates (rNMPs) in nuclear DNA decreases genome stability. To ensure survival despite rNMP insertions, cells have evolved a complex network of DNA repair mechanisms, in which the ribonucleotide excision repair pathway, initiated by type 2 RNase H (RNase HII/2), plays a major role. We recently demonstrated that eukaryotic RNase H2 cannot repair damage, that is, ribose monophosphate abasic (both apurinic or apyrimidinic) site (rAP) or oxidized rNMP embedded in DNA.
DnaC, the indispensable companion of DnaB helicase, controls the accessibility of DnaB helicase by primaseFormer studies relying on hydrogen/deuterium exchange analysis suggest that DnaC bound to DnaB alters the conformation of the N-terminal domain (NTD) of DnaB to impair the ability of this DNA helicase to interact with primase. Supporting this idea, the work described herein based on biosensor experiments and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays shows that the DnaB-DnaC complex binds poorly to primase in comparison with DnaB alone. Using a structural model of DnaB complexed with the C-terminal domain of primase, we found that Ile-85 is located at the interface in the NTD of DnaB that contacts primase.
Mutagenic potential of nitrogen mustard-induced formamidopyrimidine DNA adduct: Contribution of the non-canonical α-anomerNitrogen mustards (NMs) are DNA-alkylating compounds that represent the earliest anticancer drugs. However, clinical use of NMs is limited because of their own mutagenic properties. The mechanisms of NM-induced mutagenesis remain unclear. The major product of DNA alkylation by NMs is a cationic NM-N7-dG adduct that can yield the imidazole ring-fragmented lesion, N5-NM-substituted formamidopyrimidine (NM-Fapy-dG). Characterization of this adduct is complicated because it adopts different conformations, including both a canonical β- and an unnatural α-anomeric configuration.
Mfd translocase is necessary and sufficient for transcription-coupled repair in Escherichia coliNucleotide excision repair in Escherichia coli is stimulated by transcription, specifically in the transcribed strand. Previously, it was shown that this transcription-coupled repair (TCR) is mediated by the Mfd translocase. Recently, it was proposed that in fact the majority of TCR in E. coli is catalyzed by a second pathway (“backtracking-mediated TCR”) that is dependent on the UvrD helicase and the guanosine pentaphosphate (ppGpp) alarmone/stringent response regulator. Recently, we reported that as measured by the excision repair–sequencing (XR-seq), UvrD plays no role in TCR genome-wide.
Cooperative DnaA Binding to the Negatively Supercoiled datA Locus Stimulates DnaA-ATP HydrolysisTimely initiation of replication in Escherichia coli requires functional regulation of the replication initiator, ATP-DnaA. The cellular level of ATP-DnaA increases just before initiation, after which its level decreases through hydrolysis of DnaA-bound ATP, yielding initiation-inactive ADP-DnaA. Previously, we reported a novel DnaA-ATP hydrolysis system involving the chromosomal locus datA and named it datA-dependent DnaA-ATP hydrolysis (DDAH). The datA locus contains a binding site for a nucleoid-associating factor integration host factor (IHF) and a cluster of three known DnaA-binding sites, which are important for DDAH.
Substitutions of Conserved Residues in the C-terminal Region of DnaC Cause Thermolability in Helicase LoadingThe DnaB-DnaC complex binds to the unwound DNA within the Escherichia coli replication origin in the helicase loading process, but the biochemical events that lead to its stable binding are uncertain. This study characterizes the function of specific C-terminal residues of DnaC. Genetic and biochemical characterization of proteins bearing F231S and W233L substitutions of DnaC reveals that their activity is thermolabile. Because the mutants remain able to form a complex with DnaB at 30 and 37 °C, their thermolability is not explained by an impaired interaction with DnaB.
DNA Polymerase α Subunit Residues and Interactions Required for Efficient Initiation Complex Formation Identified by a Genetic SelectionBackground: A genetic selection revealed interactions important for replication initiation.Results: A PHP mutation ablated interaction with the ϵ subunit and distorted the active site. C-terminal mutations decreased binding by the clamp loader τ subunit.Conclusion: The β binding domain functions in both β and τ binding.Significance: This work advances our knowledge of replicase interactions critical for function.
Upstream Binding of Idling RNA Polymerase Modulates Transcription Initiation from a Nearby PromoterBackground: The fis promoter upstream region harbors RNA polymerase binding sites of unknown function.Results: Modifications of the upstream polymerase binding affect fis gene expression in a supercoiling-dependent manner.Conclusion: Concomitant binding of RNA polymerase at the fis promoter and upstream region acts as a topological device regulating transcription.Significance: RNA polymerase can act as an architectural factor modulating the activity of transcription initiation complexes.