[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Era, composed of a GTPase domain and a K homology domain, is essential for bacterial cell viability. It is required for the maturation of 16S rRNA and assembly of the 30S ribosomal subunit. We showed previously that the protein recognizes nine nucleotides ( ) near the 3' end of 16S rRNA, and that this recognition stimulates GTP-hydrolyzing activity of Era. In all three kingdoms of life, the sequence and helix 45 (h45) (nucleotides 1506-1529) are highly conserved. It has been shown that the to double mutation severely affects the viability of bacteria. However, whether Era interacts with G1530 and/or h45 and whether such interactions (if any) contribute to the stimulation of Era's GTPase activity were not known. Here, we report two RNA structures that contain nucleotides 1506-1542 (RNA301), one in complex with Era and GDPNP (GNP), a nonhydrolysable GTP-analogue, and the other in complex with Era, GNP, and the KsgA methyltransferase. The structures show that Era recognizes 10 nucleotides, including G1530, and that Era also binds h45. Moreover, GTPase assay experiments show that G1530 does not stimulate Era's GTPase activity. Rather, A1531 and A1534 are most important for stimulation and h45 further contributes to the stimulation. Although G1530 does not contribute to the intrinsic GTPase activity of Era, its interaction with Era is important for binding and is essential for the protein to function, leading to the discovery of a new cold-sensitive phenotype of Era.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2011; 108(25):10156-61. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ERA, composed of an N-terminal GTPase domain followed by an RNA-binding KH domain, is essential for bacterial cell viability. It binds to 16S rRNA and the 30S ribosomal subunit. However, its RNA-binding site, the functional relationship between the two domains, and its role in ribosome biogenesis remain unclear. We have determined two crystal structures of ERA, a binary complex with GDP and a ternary complex with a GTP-analog and the 1531AUCACCUCCUUA1542 sequence at the 3' end of 16S rRNA. In the ternary complex, the first nine of the 12 nucleotides are recognized by the protein. We show that GTP binding is a prerequisite for RNA recognition by ERA and that RNA recognition stimulates its GTP-hydrolyzing activity. Based on these and other data, we propose a functional cycle of ERA, suggesting that the protein serves as a chaperone for processing and maturation of 16S rRNA and a checkpoint for assembly of the 30S ribosomal subunit. The AUCA sequence is highly conserved among bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes, whereas the CCUCC, known as the anti-Shine-Dalgarno sequence, is conserved in noneukaryotes only. Therefore, these data suggest a common mechanism for a highly conserved ERA function in all three kingdoms of life by recognizing the AUCA, with a "twist" for noneukaryotic ERA proteins by also recognizing the CCUCC.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2009; 106(35):14843-8. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the identification and functional analysis of nine genes from Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and their phages that are similar to lambda (lambda) bet or Escherichia coli recT. Beta and RecT are single-strand DNA annealing proteins, referred to here as recombinases. Each of the nine other genes when expressed in E. coli carries out oligonucleotide-mediated recombination. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing single-strand recombinase activity from diverse bacteria. Similar to bet and recT, most of these other recombinases were found to be associated with putative exonuclease genes. Beta and RecT in conjunction with their cognate exonucleases carry out recombination of linear double-strand DNA. Among four of these foreign recombinase/exonuclease pairs tested for recombination with double-strand DNA, three had activity, albeit barely detectable. Thus, although these recombinases can function in E. coli to catalyze oligonucleotide recombination, the double-strand DNA recombination activities with their exonuclease partners were inefficient. This study also demonstrated that Gam, by inhibiting host RecBCD nuclease activity, helps to improve the efficiency of lambda Red-mediated recombination with linear double-strand DNA, but Gam is not absolutely essential. Thus, in other bacterial species where Gam analogs have not been identified, double-strand DNA recombination may still work in the absence of a Gam-like function. We anticipate that at least some of the recombineering systems studied here will potentiate oligonucleotide and double-strand DNA-mediated recombineering in their native or related bacteria.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2008; 105(5):1626-31. · 9.74 Impact Factor