[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease I (APE1) is an essential base excision repair enzyme that catalyzes a Mg2+-dependent reaction in which the phosphodiester backbone is cleaved 5' of an abasic site in duplex DNA. This reaction has been proposed to involve either one or two metal ions bound to the active site. In the present study, we report crystal structures of Mg2+, Mn2+, and apo- APE1 determined at 1.4, 2.2, and 1.65 Å, respectively, representing two of the highest resolution structures yet reported for APE1. In our structures, a single well-ordered Mn2+ ion was observed coordinated by D70 and E96; the Mg2+ site exhibited disorder modeled as two closely positioned sites coordinated by D70 and E96 or E96 alone. Direct metal binding analysis of wild-type, D70A, and E96A APE1 as assessed by differential scanning fluorimetry indicated a role for D70 and E96 in binding of Mg2+ or Mn2+ to APE1. Consistent with the disorder exhibited by Mg2+ bound to the active site, two different conformations of E96 were observed coordinated to Mg2+. A third conformation for E96 in the apo structure is similar to that observed in the APE1- DNA-Mg2+ complex structure. Thus, binding of Mg2+ in three different positions within the active site of APE1 in these crystal structures corresponds directly with three different conformations of E96. Taken together, our results are consistent with the initial capture of metal by D70 and E96 and repositioning of Mg2+ facilitated by the structural plasticity of E96 in the active site.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: General control non-derepressible 2 kinase (GCN2) is a serine threonine kinase that curtails translation in response to diverse stress stimuli . It is a primary sensor of amino acid starvation and mediates translation repression by phosphorylating eIF2 . In addition to the kinase domain, GCN2 contains two regulatory regions; a histidyl-tRNA synthetase-like domain (HisRS) and a C-terminal domain (CTD), which function together to sense nutrient depletion. Both domains have been proposed to bind uncharged tRNA's that accumulate during amino acid starvation followed by dimerization of the kinase domain facilitating activation of GCN2 . Thus, while the CTD plays an important regulatory role in activating GCN2, information on how the CTD facilitates dimerization and whether the CTD plays a similar role in murine GCN2 is limited. Moreover, the sequences of vertebrate CTDs share less than 10% sequence identity with their yeast counterpart; therefore, it is not known whether regulatory mechanisms in GCN2 are conserved across different species. We present here the experimentally phased crystal structures of murine CTD at 1.9 Å and yeast CTD at 1.95 Å. Both murine and yeast CTDs share a novel interdigitated dimeric organization, although the dimeric structures differ somewhat in overall shape and size. Additional biochemical analysis of the murine CTD confirms an important role for dimerization in its activation. Moreover, functional studies reveal that both yeast and murine GCN2 have similar nucleic acid binding properties, but mGCN2 does not appear to exhibit ribosomal association, a key feature in the model for regulation of yeast GCN2, suggesting that there are regulatory differences between the murine GCN2 and its yeast counterpart. Our data provides a basis for understanding the role of the CTD in regulation of GCN2 in both yeast and mammals.
Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances 08/2014; 70(a1):C1407-C1407. DOI:10.1107/S2053273314085921
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In response to amino acid starvation, GCN2 phosphorylation of eIF2 leads to repression of general translation and initiation of gene reprogramming that facilitates adaptation to nutrient stress. GCN2 is a multidomain protein with key regulatory domains that directly monitor uncharged tRNAs that accumulate during nutrient limitation, leading to activation of this eIF2 kinase and translational control. A critical feature of regulation of this stress response kinase is its C-terminal domain (CTD). Here, we present high resolution crystal structures of murine and yeast CTDs, which guide a functional analysis of the mammalian GCN2. Despite low sequence identity, both yeast and mammalian CTDs share a core subunit structure and an unusual interdigitated dimeric form, albeit with significant differences. Disruption of the dimeric form of murine CTD led to loss of translational control by GCN2, suggesting that dimerization is critical for function as is true for yeast GCN2. However, although both CTDs bind single and double-stranded RNA, murine GCN2 does not appear to stably associate with the ribosome whereas yeast GCN2 does. This finding suggests that there are key regulatory differences between yeast and mammalian CTDs, which is consistent with structural differences.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease (APE1) is an unusual nuclear redox factor in which the redox-active cysteines identified to date, C65 and C93, are surface inaccessible residues whose activities may be influenced by partial unfolding of APE1. To assess the role of the five remaining cysteines in APE1's redox activity, double-cysteine mutants were analyzed, excluding C65A, which is redox-inactive as a single mutant. C93A/C99A APE1 was found to be redox-inactive, whereas other double-cysteine mutants retained the same redox activity as that observed for C93A APE1. To determine whether these three cysteines, C65, C93, and C99, were sufficient for redox activity, all other cysteines were substituted with alanine, and this protein was shown to be fully redox-active. Mutants with impaired redox activity failed to stimulate cell proliferation, establishing an important role for APE1's redox activity in cell growth. Disulfide bond formation upon oxidation of APE1 was analyzed by proteolysis of the protein followed by mass spectrometry analysis. Within 5 min of exposure to hydrogen peroxide, a single disulfide bond formed between C65 and C138 followed by the formation of three additional disulfide bonds within 15 min; 10 total disulfide bonds formed within 1 h. A single mixed-disulfide bond involving C99 of APE1 was observed for the reaction of oxidized APE1 with thioredoxin (TRX). Disulfide-bonded APE1 or APE1-TRX species were further characterized by size exclusion chromatography and found to form large complexes. Taken together, our data suggest that APE1 is a unique redox factor with properties distinct from those of other redox factors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the human genome is littered with sequences derived from the Hsmar1 transposon, the only intact Hsmar1 transposase gene exists within a chimeric SET-transposase fusion protein referred to as Metnase or SETMAR. Metnase retains many of the transposase activities including terminal inverted repeat (TIR) specific DNA-binding activity, DNA cleavage activity, albeit uncoupled from TIR-specific binding, and the ability to form a synaptic complex. However, Metnase has evolved as a DNA repair protein that is specifically involved in nonhomologous end joining. Here, we present two crystal structures of the transposase catalytic domain of Metnase revealing a dimeric enzyme with unusual active site plasticity that may be involved in modulating metal binding. We show through characterization of a dimerization mutant, F460K, that the dimeric form of the enzyme is required for its DNA cleavage, DNA-binding, and nonhomologous end joining activities. Of significance is the conservation of F460 along with residues that we propose may be involved in the modulation of metal binding in both the predicted ancestral Hsmar1 transposase sequence as well as in the modern enzyme. The Metnase transposase has been remarkably conserved through evolution; however, there is a clustering of substitutions located in alpha helices 4 and 5 within the putative DNA-binding site, consistent with loss of transposition specific DNA cleavage activity and acquisition of DNA repair specific cleavage activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Redox reactions are known to regulate many important cellular processes. In this review, we focus on the role of redox regulation in DNA repair both in direct regulation of specific DNA repair proteins as well as indirect transcriptional regulation. A key player in the redox regulation of DNA repair is the base excision repair enzyme apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1) in its role as a redox factor. APE1 is reduced by the general redox factor thioredoxin, and in turn reduces several important transcription factors that regulate expression of DNA repair proteins. Finally, we consider the potential for chemotherapeutic development through the modulation of APE1's redox activity and its impact on DNA repair.