HhaI methyltransferase flips its target base out of the DNA helix.

W. M. Keck Structural Biology Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York 11724.
Cell (Impact Factor: 33.12). 02/1994; 76(2):357-69. DOI: 10.1016/0092-8674(94)90342-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The crystal structure has been determined at 2.8 A resolution for a chemically-trapped covalent reaction intermediate between the HhaI DNA cytosine-5-methyltransferase, S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine, and a duplex 13-mer DNA oligonucleotide containing methylated 5-fluorocytosine at its target. The DNA is located in a cleft between the two domains of the protein and has the characteristic conformation of B-form DNA, except for a disrupted G-C base pair that contains the target cytosine. The cytosine residue has swung completely out of the DNA helix and is positioned in the active site, which itself has undergone a large conformational change. The DNA is contacted from both the major and the minor grooves, but almost all base-specific interactions between the enzyme and the recognition bases occur in the major groove, through two glycine-rich loops from the small domain. The structure suggests how the active nucleophile reaches its target, directly supports the proposed mechanism for cytosine-5 DNA methylation, and illustrates a novel mode of sequence-specific DNA recognition.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A recently solved Dnmt1-DNA crystal structure revealed several enzyme-DNA contacts and large structural rearrangements of the DNA at the target site, including the flipping of the non-target strand base of the base pair flanking the CpG site and formation of a non-canonical base pair between the non-target strand Gua and the flanking base pair. Here, we show that the contacts of the enzyme to the target base and the Gua:5mC base pair that are observed in the structure are very important for catalytic activity. The contacts to the non-target strand Gua are not important since its exchange by Ade stimulated activity. Except target base flipping, we could not find evidence that the DNA rearrangements have a functional role.
    FEBS letters 05/2012; 586(13):1821-3. DOI:10.1016/j.febslet.2012.05.026 · 3.34 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Embryology - Updates and Highlights on Classic Topics, 03/2012; , ISBN: 978-953-51-0465-0
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cytosine DNA methylation is evolutionarily ancient, and in eukaryotes this epigenetic modification is associated with gene silencing. Proteins with SRA (SET- or RING-associated) methyl-binding domains are required for the establishment and/or maintenance of DNA methylation in both plants and mammals. The 5-methyl-cytosine (5mC)-binding specificity of several SRA domains have been characterized, and each one has a preference for DNA methylation in different sequence contexts. Here we demonstrate through mobility shift assays and calorimetric measurements that the SU(VAR)3-9 HOMOLOG 5 (SUVH5) SRA domain differs from other SRA domains in that it can bind methylated DNA in all contexts to similar extents. Crystal structures of the SUVH5 SRA domain bound to 5mC-containing DNA in either the fully or hemimethylated CG context or the methylated CHH context revealed a dual flip-out mechanism where both the 5mC and a base (5mC, C, or G, respectively) from the partner strand are simultaneously extruded from the DNA duplex and positioned within binding pockets of individual SRA domains. Our structure-based in vivo studies suggest that a functional SUVH5 SRA domain is required for both DNA methylation and accumulation of the H3K9 dimethyl modification in vivo, suggesting a role for the SRA domain in recruitment of SUVH5 to genomic loci.
    Genes & development 01/2011; 25(2):137-52. DOI:10.1101/gad.1980311 · 12.64 Impact Factor