Greg Brown

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (34)183.46 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and their associated Cas proteins comprise a prokaryotic RNA-guided adaptive immune system that interferes with mobile genetic elements, such as plasmids and phages. The type I-E CRISPR interference complex Cascade from Escherichia coli is composed of five different Cas proteins and a 61-nt-long guide RNA (crRNA). crRNAs contain a unique 32-nt spacer flanked by a repeat-derived 5' handle (8 nt) and a 3' handle (21 nt). The spacer part of crRNA directs Cascade to DNA targets. Here, we show that the E. coli Cascade can be expressed and purified from cells lacking crRNAs and loaded in vitro with synthetic crRNAs, which direct it to targets complementary to crRNA spacer. The deletion of even one nucleotide from the crRNA 5' handle disrupted its binding to Cascade and target DNA recognition. In contrast, crRNA variants with just a single nucleotide downstream of the spacer part bound Cascade and the resulting ribonucleotide complex containing a 41-nt-long crRNA specifically recognized DNA targets. Thus, the E. coli Cascade-crRNA system exhibits significant flexibility suggesting that this complex can be engineered for applications in genome editing and opening the way for incorporation of site-specific labels in crRNA. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.
    Nucleic Acids Research 12/2014; · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cas4 nucleases constitute a core family of CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) associated proteins, but little is known about their structure and activity. Here we report the crystal structure of the Cas4 protein Pcal_0546 from Pyrobaculum calidifontis, which revealed a monomeric protein with a RecB-like fold and one [2Fe-2S] cluster coordinated by four conserved Cys residues. Pcal_0546 exhibits metal-dependent 5' to 3' exonuclease activity against ssDNA substrates, whereas the Cas4 protein SSO1391 from Sulfolobus solfataricus can cleave ssDNA in both the 5' to 3' and 3' to 5' directions. The active site of Pcal_0546 contains a bound metal ion coordinated by the side chains of Asp123, Glu136, His146, and the main chain carbonyl of Ile137. Site-directed mutagenesis of Pcal_0546 and SSO1391 revealed that the residues of RecB motifs II, III and QhXXY are critical for nuclease activity, whereas mutations of the conserved Cys residues resulted in a loss of the iron-sulfur cluster, but had no effect on DNA cleavage. Our results revealed the biochemical diversity of Cas4 nucleases, which can have different oligomeric states, contain [4Fe-4S] or [2Fe-2S] clusters, and cleave single stranded DNA in different directions producing single-stranded DNA overhangs, which are potential intermediates for the synthesis of new CRISPR spacers.
    Nucleic Acids Research 09/2014; · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most of the Earth's biosphere is cold and is populated by cold-adapted microorganisms. To explore the natural enzyme diversity of these environments and identify new carboxylesterases, we have screened three marine metagenome gene libraries for esterase activity. The screens identified 23 unique active clones, from which five highly active esterases were selected for biochemical characterization. The purified metagenomic esterases exhibited high activity against α-naphthyl and p-nitrophenyl esters with different chain lengths. All five esterases retained high activity at 5 °C indicating that they are cold-adapted enzymes. The activity of MGS0010 increased more than two times in the presence of up to 3.5 M NaCl or KCl, whereas the other four metagenomic esterases were inhibited to various degrees by these salts. The purified enzymes showed different sensitivities to inhibition by solvents and detergents, and the activities of MGS0010, MGS0105 and MGS0109 were stimulated three to five times by the addition of glycerol. Screening of purified esterases against 89 monoester substrates revealed broad substrate profiles with a preference for different esters. The metagenomic esterases also hydrolyzed several polyester substrates including polylactic acid suggesting that they can be used for polyester depolymerization. Thus, esterases from marine metagenomes are cold-adapted enzymes exhibiting broad biochemical diversity reflecting the environmental conditions where they evolved.
    Applied microbiology and biotechnology. 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibition of enzyme activity by high concentrations of substrate and/or cofactor is a general phenomenon demonstrated in many enzymes including aldehyde dehydrogenases. Here we show that the uncharacterized protein BetB (SA2613) from Staphylococcus aureus is a highly specific betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase, which exhibits substrate inhibition at concentrations of betaine aldehyde as low as 0.15 mM. In contrast, the aldehyde dehydrogenase YdcW from Escherichia coli, which is also active against betaine aldehyde, shows no inhibition by this substrate. Using the crystal structures of BetB and YdcW, we performed a structure-based mutational analysis of BetB and introduced the YdcW residues into the BetB active site. From a total of 32 mutations, those in five residues located in the substrate binding pocket (Val288, Ser290, His448, Tyr450, and Trp456) greatly reduced the substrate inhibition of BetB, whereas the double mutant protein H448F/Y450L demonstrated a complete loss of substrate inhibition. Substrate inhibition was also reduced by mutations of the semi-conserved Gly234 (to Ser, Thr or Ala) located in the BetB NAD(+) binding site, suggesting some cooperativity between the cofactor and substrate binding sites. Substrate docking analysis of the BetB and YdcW active sites revealed that the wild-type BetB can bind betaine aldehyde in both productive and non-productive conformations, whereas only the productive binding mode can be modeled in the active sites of YdcW and the BetB mutant proteins with reduced substrate inhibition. Thus, our results suggest that the molecular mechanism of substrate inhibition of BetB is associated with the non-productive binding of betaine aldehyde.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 04/2014; · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cas4 proteins, a core protein family associated with the microbial system of adaptive immunity CRISPR, are predicted to function in the adaptation step of the CRISPR mechanism. Here we show that the Cas4 protein SSO0001 from the archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus has metal-dependent endonuclease and 5' to 3' exonuclease activities against single-stranded DNA, as well as ATP-independent DNA unwinding activity toward double-stranded DNA. The crystal structure of SSO0001 revealed a decameric toroid formed by five dimers with each monomer containing one [4Fe-4S] cluster and one Mn2+ ion bound in the active site located inside the internal tunnel. The conserved RecB motif and four Cys residues are important for DNA binding and cleavage activities, whereas DNA unwinding depends on several residues located near the [4Fe-4S]-cluster. Our results suggest that Cas4 proteins might contribute to the addition of novel CRISPR spacers through the formation of 3'-DNA overhangs and to the degradation of foreign DNA.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 10/2013; · 10.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Maf (for multicopy associated filamentation) proteins represent a large family of conserved proteins implicated in cell division arrest but whose biochemical activity remains unknown. Here, we show that the prokaryotic and eukaryotic Maf proteins exhibit nucleotide pyrophosphatase activity against 5-methyl-UTP, pseudo-UTP, 5-methyl-CTP, and 7-methyl-GTP, which represent the most abundant modified bases in all organisms, as well as against canonical nucleotides dTTP, UTP, and CTP. Overexpression of the Maf protein YhdE in E. coli cells increased intracellular levels of dTMP and UMP, confirming that dTTP and UTP are the in vivo substrates of this protein. Crystal structures and site-directed mutagenesis of Maf proteins revealed the determinants of their activity and substrate specificity. Thus, pyrophosphatase activity of Maf proteins toward canonical and modified nucleotides might provide the molecular mechanism for a dual role of these proteins in cell division arrest and house cleaning.
    Chemistry & biology 10/2013; · 6.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Multicopper oxidases can act on a broad spectrum of phenolic and non-phenolic compounds. These enzymes include laccases, which are widely distributed in plants and fungi, and were more recently identified in bacteria. Here, we present the results of biochemical and mutational studies of small laccase (SLAC), a multicopper oxidase from Streptomyces coelicolor (SCO6712). In addition to typical laccase substrates, SLAC was tested using phenolic compounds that exhibit antioxidant activity. SLAC showed oxidase activity against 12 of 23 substrates tested, including caffeic acid, ferulic acid, resveratrol, quercetin, morin, kaempferol and myricetin. The kinetic parameters of SLAC were determined for 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulphonic acid), 2,6-dimethoxyphenol, quercetin, morin and myricetin, and maximum reaction rates were observed with myricetin, where kcat and Km values at 60°C were 8.1 (± 0.8) s(-1) and 0.9 (± 0.3) mM respectively. SLAC had a broad pH optimum for activity (between pH 4 and 8) and temperature optimum at 60-70°C. It demonstrated remarkable thermostability with a half-life of over 10 h at 80°C and over 7 h at 90°C. Site-directed mutagenesis revealed 17 amino acid residues important for SLAC activity including the 10 His residues involved in copper coordination. Most notably, the Y229A and Y230A mutant proteins showed over 10-fold increase in activity compared with the wild-type SLAC, which was correlated to higher copper incorporation, while kinetic analyses with S929A predicts localization of this residue near the meta-position of aromatic substrates.
    Microbial Biotechnology 07/2013; · 3.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nucleotide degradation is a universal metabolic capability. Here we combine metabolomics, genetics and biochemistry to characterize the yeast pathway. Nutrient starvation, via PKA, AMPK/SNF1, and TOR, triggers autophagic breakdown of ribosomes into nucleotides. A protein not previously associated with nucleotide degradation, Phm8, converts nucleotide monophosphates into nucleosides. Downstream steps, which involve the purine nucleoside phosphorylase, Pnp1, and pyrimidine nucleoside hydrolase, Urh1, funnel ribose into the nonoxidative pentose phosphate pathway. During carbon starvation, the ribose-derived carbon accumulates as sedoheptulose-7-phosphate, whose consumption by transaldolase is impaired due to depletion of transaldolase's other substrate, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate. Oxidative stress increases glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate, resulting in rapid consumption of sedoheptulose-7-phosphate to make NADPH for antioxidant defense. Ablation of Phm8 or double deletion of Pnp1 and Urh1 prevent effective nucleotide salvage, resulting in metabolite depletion and impaired survival of starving yeast. Thus, ribose salvage provides means of surviving nutrient starvation and oxidative stress.
    Molecular Systems Biology 05/2013; 9:665. · 11.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nucleotide degradation is a universal metabolic capability. Here we combine metabolomics, genetics and biochemistry to characterize the yeast pathway. Nutrient starvation, via PKA, AMPK/SNF1, and TOR, triggers autophagic breakdown of ribosomes into nucleotides. A protein not previously associated with nucleotide degradation, Phm8, converts nucleotide monophosphates into nucleosides. Downstream steps, which involve the purine nucleoside phosphorylase, Pnp1, and pyrimidine nucleoside hydrolase, Urh1, funnel ribose into the nonoxidative pentose phosphate pathway. During carbon starvation, the ribose-derived carbon accumulates as sedoheptulose-7-phosphate, whose consumption by transaldolase is impaired due to depletion of transaldolase's other substrate, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate. Oxidative stress increases glyceraldehyde-3-phos-phate, resulting in rapid consumption of sedoheptulose-7-phosphate to make NADPH for antioxidant defense. Ablation of Phm8 or double deletion of Pnp1 and Urh1 prevent effective nucleotide salvage, resulting in metabolite depletion and impaired survival of starving yeast. Thus, ribose salvage provides means of surviving nutrient starvation and oxidative stress. Molecular Systems Biology 9: 665; published online 14 May 2013; doi:10.1038/msb.2013.21
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    ABSTRACT: The human HD domain protein SAMHD1 is implicated in the Aicardi-Goutières autoimmune syndrome and in the restriction of HIV-1 replication in myeloid cell. Recently, this protein has been shown to possess dNTP triphosphatase activity, which is proposed to inhibit HIV-1 replication and the autoimmune response by hydrolysing cellular dNTPs. Here we show that the purified full-length human SAMHD1 also possesses metal-dependent 3' to 5' exonuclease activity against single stranded DNAs and RNAs in vitro. In double stranded substrates, this protein preferentially cleaved 3'-overhangs and RNA in the blunt-ended RNA/DNA duplexes. The full-length SAMHD1 also exhibited strong DNA and RNA binding to substrates with complex secondary structures. Both nuclease and dNTP triphosphatase activities of SAMHD1 are associated with its HD domain, but the SAM domain is required for maximal activity and nucleic acid binding. Nuclease activity of SAMHD1 could represent an additional mechanism contributing to HIV-1 restriction and suppression of the autoimmune response through a direct cleavage of viral and endogenous nucleic acids. In addition, we demonstrated the presence of dGTP triphosphohydrolase and nuclease activities in several microbial HD domain proteins suggesting that these proteins might contribute to anti-viral defense in prokaryotes.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aldehyde dehydrogenases are found in all organisms and play an important role in the metabolic conversion and detoxification of endogenous and exogenous aldehydes. Genomes of many organisms including Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium encode two succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenases with low sequence similarity and different cofactor preference (YneI and GabD). Here, we present the crystal structure and biochemical characterization of the NAD(P)+-dependent succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase YneI from S. yphimurium. This enzyme shows high activity and affinity toward succinate semialdehyde and exhibits substrate inhibition at concentrations of SSA higher than 0.1 mM. YneI can use both NAD+ and NADP+ as cofactors, although affinity to NAD+ is 10 times higher. High resolution crystal structures of YneI were solved in a free state (1.85 Å) and in complex with NAD+ (1.90 Å) revealing a two domain protein with the active site located in the interdomain interface. The NAD+ olecule is bound in the long channel with its nicotinamide ring positioned close to the side chain of the catalytic Cys268. Site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated that this residue, as well as the conserved Trp136, Glu365, and Asp426 are important for activity of YneI, and that the conserved Lys160 contributes to the enzyme preference to NAD+. Our work has provided further insight into the molecular mechanisms of substrate selectivity and activity of succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenases. Proteins 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 12/2012; · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The uncharacterized α/β-hydrolase protein OLEI01171 from the psychrophilic marine bacterium Oleispira antarctica belongs to the PF00756 family of putative esterases, which also includes human esterase D. In the present paper we show that purified recombinant OLEI01171 exhibits high esterase activity against the model esterase substrate α-naphthyl acetate at 5-30°C with maximal activity at 15-20°C. The esterase activity of OLEI01171 was stimulated 3-8-fold by the addition of chloride or several other anions (0.1-1.0 M). Compared with mesophilic PF00756 esterases, OLEI01171 exhibited a lower overall protein thermostability. Two crystal structures of OLEI01171 were solved at 1.75 and 2.1 Å resolution and revealed a classical serine hydrolase catalytic triad and the presence of a chloride or bromide ion bound in the active site close to the catalytic Ser148. Both anions were found to co-ordinate a potential catalytic water molecule located in the vicinity of the catalytic triad His257. The results of the present study suggest that the bound anion perhaps contributes to the polarization of the catalytic water molecule and increases the rate of the hydrolysis of an acyl-enzyme intermediate. Alanine replacement mutagenesis of OLEI01171 identified ten amino acid residues important for esterase activity. The replacement of Asn225 by lysine had no significant effect on the activity or thermostability of OLEI01171, but resulted in a detectable increase of activity at 35-45°C. The present study has provided insight into the molecular mechanisms of activity of a cold-active and anion-activated carboxyl esterase.
    Biochemical Journal 04/2012; 445(2):193-203. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The hotdog fold is one of the basic protein folds widely present in bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. Many of these proteins exhibit thioesterase activity against fatty acyl-CoAs and play important roles in lipid metabolism, cellular signalling and degradation of xenobiotics. The genome of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa contains over 20 genes encoding predicted hotdog-fold proteins, none of which have been experimentally characterized. We have found that two P. aeruginosa hotdog proteins display high thioesterase activity against 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA and glutaryl-CoA (PA5202), and octanoyl-CoA (PA2801). Crystal structures of these proteins were solved (at 1.70 and 1.75 Å for PA5202 and PA2801 respectively) and revealed a hotdog fold with a potential catalytic carboxylate residue located on the long α-helix (Asp(57) in PA5202 and Glu(35) in PA2801). Alanine residue replacement mutagenesis of PA5202 identified four residues (Asn(42), Arg(43), Asp(57) and Thr(76)) that are critical for its activity and are located in the active site. A P. aeruginosa PA5202 deletion strain showed an increased secretion of the antimicrobial pigment pyocyanine and an increased expression of genes involved in pyocyanin biosynthesis, suggesting a functional link between PA5202 activity and pyocyanin production. Thus the P. aeruginosa hotdog thioesterases PA5202 and PA2801 have similar structures, but exhibit different substrate preferences and functions.
    Biochemical Journal 03/2012; 444(3):445-55. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The β-hydroxyacid dehydrogenases form a large family of ubiquitous enzymes that catalyze oxidation of various β-hydroxy acid substrates to corresponding semialdehydes. Several known enzymes include β-hydroxyisobutyrate dehydrogenase, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, 2-(hydroxymethyl)glutarate dehydrogenase, and phenylserine dehydrogenase, but the vast majority of β-hydroxyacid dehydrogenases remain uncharacterized. Here, we demonstrate that the predicted β-hydroxyisobutyrate dehydrogenase PA0743 from Pseudomonas aeruginosa catalyzes an NAD+-dependent oxidation of l-serine and methyl-l-serine but exhibits low activity against β-hydroxyisobutyrate. Two crystal structures of PA0743 were solved at 2.2–2.3-Å resolution and revealed an N-terminal Rossmann fold domain connected by a long α-helix to the C-terminal all-α domain. The PA0743 apostructure showed the presence of additional density modeled as HEPES bound in the interdomain cleft close to the predicted catalytic Lys-171, revealing the molecular details of the PA0743 substrate-binding site. The structure of the PA0743-NAD+ complex demonstrated that the opposite side of the enzyme active site accommodates the cofactor, which is also bound near Lys-171. Site-directed mutagenesis of PA0743 emphasized the critical role of four amino acid residues in catalysis including the primary catalytic residue Lys-171. Our results provide further insight into the molecular mechanisms of substrate selectivity and activity of β-hydroxyacid dehydrogenases.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2012; 287(3):1874-1883. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The β-hydroxyacid dehydrogenases form a large family of ubiquitous enzymes that catalyze oxidation of various β-hydroxy acid substrates to corresponding semialdehydes. Several known enzymes include β-hydroxyisobutyrate dehydrogenase, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, 2-(hydroxymethyl)glutarate dehydrogenase, and phenylserine dehydrogenase, but the vast majority of β-hydroxyacid dehydrogenases remain uncharacterized. Here, we demonstrate that the predicted β-hydroxyisobutyrate dehydrogenase PA0743 from Pseudomonas aeruginosa catalyzes an NAD(+)-dependent oxidation of l-serine and methyl-l-serine but exhibits low activity against β-hydroxyisobutyrate. Two crystal structures of PA0743 were solved at 2.2-2.3-Å resolution and revealed an N-terminal Rossmann fold domain connected by a long α-helix to the C-terminal all-α domain. The PA0743 apostructure showed the presence of additional density modeled as HEPES bound in the interdomain cleft close to the predicted catalytic Lys-171, revealing the molecular details of the PA0743 substrate-binding site. The structure of the PA0743-NAD(+) complex demonstrated that the opposite side of the enzyme active site accommodates the cofactor, which is also bound near Lys-171. Site-directed mutagenesis of PA0743 emphasized the critical role of four amino acid residues in catalysis including the primary catalytic residue Lys-171. Our results provide further insight into the molecular mechanisms of substrate selectivity and activity of β-hydroxyacid dehydrogenases.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2011; 287(3):1874-83. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPRs) and Cas proteins represent an adaptive microbial immunity system against viruses and plasmids. Cas3 proteins have been proposed to play a key role in the CRISPR mechanism through the direct cleavage of invasive DNA. Here, we show that the Cas3 HD domain protein MJ0384 from Methanocaldococcus jannaschii cleaves endonucleolytically and exonucleolytically (3'-5') single-stranded DNAs and RNAs, as well as 3'-flaps, splayed arms, and R-loops. The degradation of branched DNA substrates by MJ0384 is stimulated by the Cas3 helicase MJ0383 and ATP. The crystal structure of MJ0384 revealed the active site with two bound metal cations and together with site-directed mutagenesis suggested a catalytic mechanism. Our studies suggest that the Cas3 HD nucleases working together with the Cas3 helicases can completely degrade invasive DNAs through the combination of endo- and exonuclease activities.
    The EMBO Journal 11/2011; 30(22):4616-27. · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genomes of all free-living organisms encode the enzyme dUTPase (dUTP pyrophosphatase), which plays a key role in preventing uracil incorporation into DNA. In the present paper, we describe the biochemical and structural characterization of DUT1 (Saccharomyces cerevisiae dUTPase). The hydrolysis of dUTP by DUT1 was strictly dependent on a bivalent metal cation with significant activity observed in the presence of Mg2+, Co2+, Mn2+, Ni2+ or Zn2+. In addition, DUT1 showed a significant activity against another potentially mutagenic nucleotide: dITP. With both substrates, DUT1 demonstrated a sigmoidal saturation curve, suggesting a positive co-operativity between the subunits. The crystal structure of DUT1 was solved at 2 Å resolution (1 Å=0.1 nm) in an apo state and in complex with the non-hydrolysable substrate α,β-imido dUTP or dUMP product. Alanine-replacement mutagenesis of the active-site residues revealed seven residues important for activity including the conserved triad Asp87/Arg137/Asp85. The Y88A mutant protein was equally active against both dUTP and UTP, indicating that this conserved tyrosine residue is responsible for discrimination against ribonucleotides. The structure of DUT1 and site-directed mutagenesis support a role of the conserved Phe142 in the interaction with the uracil base. Our work provides further insight into the molecular mechanisms of substrate selectivity and catalysis of dUTPases.
    Biochemical Journal 05/2011; 437(2):243-53. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) and the associated proteins (Cas) comprise a system of adaptive immunity against viruses and plasmids in prokaryotes. Cas1 is a CRISPR-associated protein that is common to all CRISPR-containing prokaryotes but its function remains obscure. Here we show that the purified Cas1 protein of Escherichia coli (YgbT) exhibits nuclease activity against single-stranded and branched DNAs including Holliday junctions, replication forks and 5'-flaps. The crystal structure of YgbT and site-directed mutagenesis have revealed the potential active site. Genome-wide screens show that YgbT physically and genetically interacts with key components of DNA repair systems, including recB, recC and ruvB. Consistent with these findings, the ygbT deletion strain showed increased sensitivity to DNA damage and impaired chromosomal segregation. Similar phenotypes were observed in strains with deletion of CRISPR clusters, suggesting that the function of YgbT in repair involves interaction with the CRISPRs. These results show that YgbT belongs to a novel, structurally distinct family of nucleases acting on branched DNAs and suggest that, in addition to antiviral immunity, at least some components of the CRISPR-Cas system have a function in DNA repair.
    Molecular Microbiology 01/2011; 79(2):484-502. · 5.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclic diguanylate (or bis-(3'-5') cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate; c-di-GMP) is a ubiquitous second messenger that regulates diverse cellular functions, including motility, biofilm formation, cell cycle progression, and virulence in bacteria. In the cell, degradation of c-di-GMP is catalyzed by highly specific EAL domain phosphodiesterases whose catalytic mechanism is still unclear. Here, we purified 13 EAL domain proteins from various organisms and demonstrated that their catalytic activity is associated with the presence of 10 conserved EAL domain residues. The crystal structure of the TBD1265 EAL domain was determined in free state (1.8 Å) and in complex with c-di-GMP (2.35 A), and unveiled the role of conserved residues in substrate binding and catalysis. The structure revealed the presence of two metal ions directly coordinated by six conserved residues, two oxygens of c-di-GMP phosphate, and potential catalytic water molecule. Our results support a two-metal-ion catalytic mechanism of c-di-GMP hydrolysis by EAL domain phosphodiesterases.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 09/2010; 402(3):524-38. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase), a key enzyme of gluconeogenesis and photosynthetic CO(2) fixation, catalyzes the hydrolysis of fructose 1,6-bisphosphate (FBP) to produce fructose 6-phosphate, an important precursor in various biosynthetic pathways. All known FBPases are metal-dependent enzymes, which are classified into five different classes based on their amino acid sequences. Eukaryotes are known to contain only the type-I FBPases, whereas all five types exist in various combinations in prokaryotes. Here we demonstrate that the uncharacterized protein YK23 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae efficiently hydrolyzes FBP in a metal-independent reaction. YK23 is a member of the histidine phosphatase (phosphoglyceromutase) superfamily with homologues found in all organisms. The crystal structure of the YK23 apo-form was solved at 1.75-A resolution and revealed the core domain with the alpha/beta/alpha-fold covered by two small cap domains. Two liganded structures of this protein show the presence of two phosphate molecules (an inhibitor) or FBP (a substrate) bound to the active site. FBP is bound in its linear, open conformation with the cleavable C1-phosphate positioned deep in the active site. Alanine replacement mutagenesis of YK23 identified six conserved residues absolutely required for activity and suggested that His(13) and Glu(99) are the primary catalytic residues. Thus, YK23 represents the first family of metal-independent FBPases and a second FBPase family in eukaryotes.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2010; 285(27):21049-59. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

561 Citations
183.46 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005–2014
    • University of Toronto
      • • Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
      • • Banting and Best Department of Medical Research
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2012
    • University of Florida
      • Department of Microbiology and Cell Science
      Gainesville, FL, United States