Matthew J Schellenberg

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Durham, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (15)155.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to environmental toxicants and stressors, radiation, pharmaceutical drugs, inflammation, cellular respiration, and routine DNA metabolism all lead to the production of cytotoxic DNA strand breaks. Akin to splintered wood, DNA breaks are not “clean.” Rather, DNA breaks typically lack DNA 5′-phosphate and 3′-hydroxyl moieties required for DNA synthesis and DNA ligation. Failure to resolve damage at DNA ends can lead to abnormal DNA replication and repair, and is associated with genomic instability, mutagenesis, neurological disease, ageing and carcinogenesis. An array of chemically heterogeneous DNA termini arises from spontaneously generated DNA single-strand and double-strand breaks (SSBs and DSBs), and also from normal and/or inappropriate DNA metabolism by DNA polymerases, DNA ligases and topoisomerases. As a front line of defense to these genotoxic insults, eukaryotic cells have accrued an arsenal of enzymatic first responders that bind and protect damaged DNA termini, and enzymatically tailor DNA ends for DNA repair synthesis and ligation. These nucleic acid transactions employ direct damage reversal enzymes including Aprataxin (APTX), Polynucleotide kinase phosphatase (PNK), the tyrosyl DNA phosphodiesterases (TDP1 and TDP2), the Ku70/80 complex and DNA polymerase β (POLβ). Nucleolytic processing enzymes such as the MRE11/RAD50/NBS1/CtIP complex, Flap endonuclease (FEN1) and the apurinic endonucleases (APE1 and APE2) also act in the chemical “cleansing” of DNA breaks to prevent genomic instability and disease, and promote progression of DNA- and RNA-DNA damage response (DDR and RDDR) pathways. Here, we provide an overview of cellular first responders dedicated to the detection and repair of abnormal DNA termini. Environ. Mol. Mutagen., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis 08/2014; · 3.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic type II topoisomerases (Top2α and Top2β) are homodimeric enzymes; essential for altering DNA topology by the formation of normally transient double-strand DNA cleavage. Anticancer drugs (etoposide, doxorubicin, and mitoxantrone), but also Top2 oxidation and DNA helical alterations cause potentially irreversible Top2-DNA cleavage complexes (Top2cc), leading to Top2-linked DNA breaks. Top2cc are the therapeutic mechanism for killing cancer cells. Yet, Top2cc can also generate recombination, translocations and apoptosis in normal cells. The Top2 protein-DNA covalent complexes are excised (in part) by tyrosyl-DNA-phosphodiesterase 2 (TDP2/TTRAP/EAP2/VPg unlinkase). In this study, we show that irreversible Top2cc induced in suicidal substrates are not processed by TDP2 unless they first undergo proteolytic processing or denaturation. We also demonstrate that TDP2 is most efficient when the DNA attached to the tyrosyl is in a single-stranded configuration, and that TDP2 can efficiently remove a tyrosine linked to a single misincorporated ribonucleotide or to polyribonucleotides, which expands the TDP2 catalytic profile with RNA substrates. The 1.6 Angstrom resolution crystal structure of TDP2 bound to a substrate bearing a 5'-ribonucleotide defines a mechanism through which RNA can be accommodated in the TDP2 active site, albeit in a strained conformation.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2014; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Faithful maintenance and propagation of eukaryotic genomes is ensured by three-step DNA ligation reactions used by ATP-dependent DNA ligases. Paradoxically, when DNA ligases encounter nicked DNA structures with abnormal DNA termini, DNA ligase catalytic activity can generate and/or exacerbate DNA damage through abortive ligation that produces chemically adducted, toxic 5'-adenylated (5'-AMP) DNA lesions. Aprataxin (APTX) reverses DNA adenylation but the context for deadenylation repair is unclear. Here we examine the importance of APTX to RNase-H2-dependent excision repair (RER) of a lesion that is very frequently introduced into DNA, a ribonucleotide. We show that ligases generate adenylated 5' ends containing a ribose characteristic of RNase H2 incision. APTX efficiently repairs adenylated RNA-DNA, and acting in an RNA-DNA damage response (RDDR), promotes cellular survival and prevents S-phase checkpoint activation in budding yeast undergoing RER. Structure-function studies of human APTX-RNA-DNA-AMP-Zn complexes define a mechanism for detecting and reversing adenylation at RNA-DNA junctions. This involves A-form RNA binding, proper protein folding and conformational changes, all of which are affected by heritable APTX mutations in ataxia with oculomotor apraxia 1. Together, these results indicate that accumulation of adenylated RNA-DNA may contribute to neurological disease.
    Nature 12/2013; · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Splicing of pre-mRNAs in eukaryotes is catalyzed by the spliceosome, a large RNA-protein metalloenzyme. The catalytic center of the spliceosome involves a structure comprising the U2 and U6 snRNAs and includes a metal bound by U6 snRNA. The precise architecture of the splicesome active site, however, and the question of whether it includes protein components, remains unresolved. A wealth of evidence places the protein PRP8 at the heart of the spliceosome through assembly and catalysis. Here we provide evidence that the RNase H domain of PRP8 undergoes a conformational switch between the two steps of splicing, rationalizing yeast prp8 alleles that promote either the first or second step. We also show that this switch unmasks a metal-binding site involved in the second step. Together, these data establish that PRP8 is a metalloprotein that promotes exon ligation within the spliceosome.
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 05/2013; · 11.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-ribosylation is a post-translational protein modification implicated in the regulation of a range of cellular processes. A family of proteins that catalyse ADP-ribosylation reactions are the poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymerases (PARPs). PARPs covalently attach an ADP-ribose nucleotide to target proteins and some PARP family members can subsequently add additional ADP-ribose units to generate a PAR chain. The hydrolysis of PAR chains is catalysed by PAR glycohydrolase (PARG). PARG is unable to cleave the mono(ADP-ribose) unit directly linked to the protein and although the enzymatic activity that catalyses this reaction has been detected in mammalian cell extracts, the protein(s) responsible remain unknown. Here, we report the homozygous mutation of the c6orf130 gene in patients with severe neurodegeneration, and identify C6orf130 as a PARP-interacting protein that removes mono(ADP-ribosyl)ation on glutamate amino acid residues in PARP-modified proteins. X-ray structures and biochemical analysis of C6orf130 suggest a mechanism of catalytic reversal involving a transient C6orf130 lysyl-(ADP-ribose) intermediate. Furthermore, depletion of C6orf130 protein in cells leads to proliferation and DNA repair defects. Collectively, our data suggest that C6orf130 enzymatic activity has a role in the turnover and recycling of protein ADP-ribosylation, and we have implicated the importance of this protein in supporting normal cellular function in humans.
    The EMBO Journal 03/2013; · 9.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The topoisomerase II (topo II) DNA incision-and-ligation cycle can be poisoned (for example following treatment with cancer chemotherapeutics) to generate cytotoxic DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) with topo II covalently conjugated to DNA. Tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase 2 (Tdp2) protects genomic integrity by reversing 5'-phosphotyrosyl-linked topo II-DNA adducts. Here, X-ray structures of mouse Tdp2-DNA complexes reveal that Tdp2 β-2-helix-β DNA damage-binding 'grasp', helical 'cap' and DNA lesion-binding elements fuse to form an elongated protein-DNA conjugate substrate-interaction groove. The Tdp2 DNA-binding surface is highly tailored for engagement of 5'-adducted single-stranded DNA ends and restricts nonspecific endonucleolytic or exonucleolytic processing. Structural, mutational and functional analyses support a single-metal ion catalytic mechanism for the exonuclease-endonuclease-phosphatase (EEP) nuclease superfamily and establish a molecular framework for targeted small-molecule blockade of Tdp2-mediated resistance to anticancer topoisomerase drugs.
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 10/2012; · 11.90 Impact Factor
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    Matthew J Schellenberg, R Scott Williams
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2011; 108(52):20855-6. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In bacteria and archaea, small RNAs derived from clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) loci are involved in an adaptable and heritable gene-silencing pathway. Resistance to phage infection is conferred by the incorporation of short invading DNA sequences into the genome as CRISPR spacer elements separated by short repeat sequences. Processing of long primary transcripts (pre-crRNAs) containing these repeats by an RNA endonuclease generates the mature effector RNAs that interfere with phage gene expression. Here we describe structural and functional analyses of the Thermus thermophilus CRISPR Cse3 endonuclease. High-resolution X-ray structures of Cse3 bound to repeat RNAs model both the pre- and post-cleavage complexes associated with processing the pre-crRNA. These structures establish the molecular basis of a specific CRISPR RNA recognition and suggest the mechanism for generation of effector RNAs responsible for gene silencing.
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 06/2011; 18(6):688-92. · 11.90 Impact Factor
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    Matthew J Schellenberg, Erin L Dul, Andrew M MacMillan
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    ABSTRACT: Human p14 (SF3b14), a component of the spliceosomal U2 snRNP, interacts directly with the pre-mRNA branch adenosine within the context of the bulged duplex formed between the pre-mRNA branch region and U2 snRNA. This association occurs early in spliceosome assembly and persists within the fully assembled spliceosome. Analysis of the crystal structure of a complex containing p14 and a peptide derived from p14-associated SF3b155 combined with the results of cross-linking studies has suggested that the branch nucleotide interacts with a pocket on a non-canonical RNA binding surface formed by the complex. Here we report a structural model of the p14 · bulged duplex interaction based on a combination of X-ray crystallography of an adenine p14/SF3b155 peptide complex, biochemical comparison of a panel of disulfide cross-linked protein-RNA complexes, and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). These studies reveal specific recognition of the branch adenosine within the p14 pocket and establish the orientation of the bulged duplex RNA bound on the protein surface. The intimate association of one surface of the bulged duplex with the p14/SF3b155 peptide complex described by this model buries the branch nucleotide at the interface and suggests that p14 · duplex interaction must be disrupted before the first step of splicing.
    RNA 11/2010; 17(1):155-65. · 5.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein folding involves the formation of secondary structural elements from the primary sequence and their association with tertiary assemblies. The relation of this primary sequence to a specific folded protein structure remains a central question in structural biology. An increasing body of evidence suggests that variations in homologous sequence ranging from point mutations to substantial insertions or deletions can yield stable proteins with markedly different folds. Here we report the structural characterization of domain IV (D4) and ΔD4 (polypeptides with 222 and 160 amino acids, respectively) that differ by virtue of an N-terminal deletion of 62 amino acids (28% of the overall D4 sequence). The high-resolution crystal structures of the monomeric D4 and the dimeric ΔD4 reveal substantially different folds despite an overall conservation of secondary structure. These structures show that the formation of tertiary structures, even in extended polypeptide sequences, can be highly context dependent, and they serve as a model for structural plasticity in protein isoforms.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 10/2010; 402(4):720-30. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    Dustin B Ritchie, Matthew J Schellenberg, Andrew M MacMillan
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    ABSTRACT: Processing of pre-mRNAs by RNA splicing is an essential step in the maturation of protein coding RNAs in eukaryotes. Structural studies of the cellular splicing machinery, the spliceosome, are a major challenge in structural biology due to the size and complexity of the splicing ensemble. Specifically, the structural details of splice site recognition and the architecture of the spliceosome active site are poorly understood. X-ray and NMR techniques have been successfully used to address these questions defining the structure of individual domains, isolated splicing proteins, spliceosomal RNA fragments and recently the U1 snRNP multiprotein.RNA complex. These results combined with extant biochemical and genetic data have yielded important insights as well as posing fresh questions with respect to the regulation and mechanism of this critical gene regulatory process.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 10/2009; 1789(9-10):624-33. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The spliceosome is a complex ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particle containing five RNAs and more than 100 associated proteins. One of these proteins, PRP8, has been shown to interact directly with the splice sites and branch region of precursor-mRNAs (pre-mRNAs) and spliceosomal RNAs associated with catalysis of the two steps of splicing. The 1.85-A X-ray structure of the core of PRP8 domain IV, implicated in key spliceosomal interactions, reveals a bipartite structure that includes the presence of an RNase H fold linked to a five-helix assembly. Analysis of mutant yeast alleles and cross-linking results in the context of this structure, coupled with RNA binding studies, suggests that domain IV forms a surface that interacts directly with the RNA structures at the catalytic core of the spliceosome.
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 11/2008; 15(11):1199-205. · 11.90 Impact Factor
  • Matthew J Schellenberg, Dustin B Ritchie, Andrew M MacMillan
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    ABSTRACT: Intron excision from pre-mRNAs of higher eukaryotes requires a transition from splice-site recognition across short exons to organization of the spliceosome across long introns. Recently, insight into this transition has been provided and, in addition, it has been shown that an alternative splicing factor, the polypyrimidine-tract-binding protein, can exert its control on splice-site choice by blocking this key step in the assembly of the splicing machinery.
    Trends in Biochemical Sciences 07/2008; 33(6):243-6. · 13.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Members of the ADAR (adenosine deaminase that acts on RNA) enzyme family catalyze the hydrolytic deamination of adenosine to inosine within double-stranded RNAs, a poorly understood process that is critical to mammalian development. We have performed fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments in mammalian cells transfected with fluorophore-bearing ADAR1 and ADAR2 fusion proteins to investigate the relationship between these proteins. These studies conclusively demonstrate the homodimerization of ADAR1 and ADAR2 and also show that ADAR1 and ADAR2 form heterodimers in human cells. RNase treatment of cells expressing these fusion proteins changes their localization but does not affect dimerization. Taken together these results suggest that homo- and heterodimerization are important for the activity of ADAR family members in vivo and that these associations are RNA independent.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2006; 281(24):16530-5. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The precise excision of introns from precursor mRNAs (pre-mRNAs) in eukaryotes is accomplished by the spliceosome, a complex assembly containing five small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (snRNP) particles. Human p14, a component of the spliceosomal U2 and U11/U12 snRNPs, has been shown to associate directly with the pre-mRNA branch adenosine early in spliceosome assembly and within the fully assembled spliceosome. Here we report the 2.5-A crystal structure of a complex containing p14 and a peptide derived from the p14-associated U2 snRNP component SF3b155. p14 contains an RNA recognition motif (RRM), the surface of which is largely occluded by a C-terminal alpha-helix and a portion of the SF3b155 peptide. An analysis of RNA.protein crosslinking to wild-type and mutant p14 shows that the branch adenosine directly interacts with a conserved aromatic within a pocket on the surface of the complex. This result, combined with a comparison of the structure with known RRMs and pseudoRRMs as well as model-building by using the electron cryomicroscopy structure of a spliceosomal U11/U12 di-snRNP, suggests that p14.SF3b155 presents a noncanonical surface for RNA recognition at the heart of the mammalian spliceosome.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2006; 103(5):1266-71. · 9.81 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

240 Citations
155.39 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012–2013
    • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
      • Laboratory of Structural Biology (LSB)
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 2006–2013
    • University of Alberta
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 2011
    • National Institutes of Health
      • Structural Biophysics Laboratory
      Bethesda, MD, United States