Biophysical analysis of Thermus aquaticus single-stranded DNA binding protein.
ABSTRACT Due to their involvement in processes such as DNA replication, repair, and recombination, bacterial single-stranded DNA binding (SSB) proteins are essential for the survival of the bacterial cell. Whereas most bacterial SSB proteins form homotetramers in solution, dimeric SSB proteins were recently discovered in the Thermus/Deinococcus group. In this work we characterize the biophysical properties of the SSB protein from Thermus aquaticus (TaqSSB), which is structurally quite similar to the tetrameric SSB protein from Escherichia coli (EcoSSB). The binding of TaqSSB and EcoSSB to single-stranded nucleic acids was found to be very similar in affinity and kinetics. Mediated by its highly conserved C-terminal region, TaqSSB interacts with the chi-subunit of E. coli DNA polymerase III with an affinity that is similar to that of EcoSSB. Using analytical ultracentrifugation, we show that TaqSSB mutants are able to form tetramers in solution via arginine-mediated hydrogen-bond interactions that we identified in the crystal packing of wild-type TaqSSB. In EcoSSB, we identified a homologous arginine residue involved in the formation of higher aggregates and metastable highly cooperative single-stranded DNA binding under low salt conditions.
Article: Site-directed mutagenesis of the χ subunit of DNA polymerase III and single-stranded DNA-binding protein of E. coli reveals key residues for their interaction.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: During DNA replication in Escherichia coli, single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB) protects single-stranded DNA from nuclease action and hairpin formation. It is known that the highly conserved C-terminus of SSB contacts the χ subunit of DNA polymerase III. However, there only exists a theoretical model in which the 11 C-terminal amino acids of SSB have been docked onto the surface of χ. In order to refine this model of SSB/χ interaction, we exchanged amino acids in χ and SSB by site-directed mutagenesis that are predicted to be of key importance. Detailed characterization of the interaction of these mutants by analytical ultracentrifugation shows that the interaction area is correctly predicted by the model; however, the SSB C-terminus binds in a different orientation to the χ surface. We show that evolutionary conserved residues of χ form a hydrophobic pocket to accommodate the ultimate two amino acids of SSB, P176 and F177. This pocket is surrounded by conserved basic residues, important for the SSB/χ interaction. Mass spectrometric analysis of χ protein cross-linked to a C-terminal peptide of SSB reveals that K132 of χ and D172 of SSB are in close contact. The proposed SSB-binding site resembles those described for RecQ and exonuclease I.Nucleic Acids Research 10/2010; 39(4):1398-407. · 8.03 Impact Factor
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: DNA polymerase III, the main enzyme responsible for bacterial DNA replication, is composed of three sub-assemblies: the polymerase core, the β-sliding clamp, and the clamp loader. During replication, single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB) coats and protects single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and also interacts with the χψ heterodimer, a sub-complex of the clamp loader. Whereas the χ subunits of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are about 40% homologous, P. aeruginosa ψ is twice as large as its E. coli counterpart, and contains additional sequences. It was shown that P. aeruginosa χψ together with SSB increases the activity of its cognate clamp loader 25-fold at low salt. The E. coli clamp loader, however, is insensitive to the addition of its cognate χψ under similar conditions. In order to find out distinguishing properties within P. aeruginosa χψ which account for this higher stimulatory effect, we characterized P. aeruginosa χψ by a detailed structural and functional comparison with its E. coli counterpart. Using small-angle X-ray scattering, analytical ultracentrifugation, and homology-based modeling, we found the N-terminus of P. aeruginosa ψ to be unstructured. Under high salt conditions, the affinity of the χψ complexes from both organisms to their cognate SSB was similar. Under low salt conditions, P. aeruginosa χψ, contrary to E. coli χψ, binds to ssDNA via the N-terminus of ψ. Whereas it is also able to bind to double-stranded DNA, the affinity is somewhat reduced. The binding to DNA, otherwise never reported for any other ψ protein, enhances the affinity of P. aeruginosa χψ towards the SSB/ssDNA complex and very likely contributes to the higher stimulatory effect of P. aeruginosa χψ on the clamp loader. We also observed DNA-binding activity for P. putida χψ, making this activity most probably a characteristic of the ψ proteins from the Pseudomonadaceae.BMC Molecular Biology 09/2011; 12:43. · 2.86 Impact Factor
Article: Chimeras of Escherichia coli and Mycobacterium tuberculosis single-stranded DNA binding proteins: characterization and function in Escherichia coli.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Single stranded DNA binding proteins (SSBs) are vital for the survival of organisms. Studies on SSBs from the prototype, Escherichia coli (EcoSSB) and, an important human pathogen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtuSSB) had shown that despite significant variations in their quaternary structures, the DNA binding and oligomerization properties of the two are similar. Here, we used the X-ray crystal structure data of the two SSBs to design a series of chimeric proteins (mβ1, mβ1'β2, mβ1-β5, mβ1-β6 and mβ4-β5) by transplanting β1, β1'β2, β1-β5, β1-β6 and β4-β5 regions, respectively of the N-terminal (DNA binding) domain of MtuSSB for the corresponding sequences in EcoSSB. In addition, mβ1'β2(ESWR) SSB was generated by mutating the MtuSSB specific 'PRIY' sequence in the β2 strand of mβ1'β2 SSB to EcoSSB specific 'ESWR' sequence. Biochemical characterization revealed that except for mβ1 SSB, all chimeras and a control construct lacking the C-terminal domain (ΔC SSB) bound DNA in modes corresponding to limited and unlimited modes of binding. However, the DNA on MtuSSB may follow a different path than the EcoSSB. Structural probing by protease digestion revealed that unlike other SSBs used, mβ1 SSB was also hypersensitive to chymotrypsin treatment. Further, to check for their biological activities, we developed a sensitive assay, and observed that mβ1-β6, MtuSSB, mβ1'β2 and mβ1-β5 SSBs complemented E. coli Δssb in a dose dependent manner. Complementation by the mβ1-β5 SSB was poor. In contrast, mβ1'β2(ESWR) SSB complemented E. coli as well as EcoSSB. The inefficiently functioning SSBs resulted in an elongated cell/filamentation phenotype of E. coli. Taken together, our observations suggest that specific interactions within the DNA binding domain of the homotetrameric SSBs are crucial for their biological function.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(12):e27216. · 4.09 Impact Factor