[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AbaSI, a member of the PvuRts1I-family of modification-dependent restriction endonucleases, cleaves deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) containing 5-hydroxymethylctosine (5hmC) and glucosylated 5hmC (g5hmC), but not DNA containing unmodified cytosine. AbaSI has been used as a tool for mapping the genomic locations of 5hmC, an important epigenetic modification in the DNA of higher organisms. Here we report the crystal structures of AbaSI in the presence and absence of DNA. These structures provide considerable, although incomplete, insight into how this enzyme acts. AbaSI appears to be mainly a homodimer in solution, but interacts with DNA in our structures as a homotetramer. Each AbaSI subunit comprises an N-terminal, Vsr-like, cleavage domain containing a single catalytic site, and a C-terminal, SRA-like, 5hmC-binding domain. Two N-terminal helices mediate most of the homodimer interface. Dimerization brings together the two catalytic sites required for double-strand cleavage, and separates the 5hmC binding-domains by ∼70 Å, consistent with the known activity of AbaSI which cleaves DNA optimally between symmetrically modified cytosines ∼22 bp apart. The eukaryotic SET and RING-associated (SRA) domains bind to DNA containing 5-methylcytosine (5mC) in the hemi-methylated CpG sequence. They make contacts in both the major and minor DNA grooves, and flip the modified cytosine out of the helix into a conserved binding pocket. In contrast, the SRA-like domain of AbaSI, which has no sequence specificity, contacts only the minor DNA groove, and in our current structures the 5hmC remains intra-helical. A conserved, binding pocket is nevertheless present in this domain, suitable for accommodating 5hmC and g5hmC. We consider it likely, therefore, that base-flipping is part of the recognition and cleavage mechanism of AbaSI, but that our structures represent an earlier, pre-flipped stage, prior to actual recognition.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Nucleic Acids Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The modification-dependent restriction endonuclease AspBHI recognizes 5-methylcytosine (5mC) in the double-strand DNA sequence context of (C/T)(C/G)(5mC)N(C/G) (N = any nucleotide) and cleaves the two strands a fixed distance (N12/N16) 3' to the modified cytosine. We determined the crystal structure of the homo-tetrameric AspBHI. Each subunit of the protein comprises two domains: an N-terminal DNA-recognition domain and a C-terminal DNA cleavage domain. The N-terminal domain is structurally similar to the eukaryotic SET and RING-associated (SRA) domain, which is known to bind to a hemi-methylated CpG dinucleotide. The C-terminal domain is structurally similar to classic Type II restriction enzymes and contains the endonuclease catalytic-site motif of DX20EAK. To understand how specific amino acids affect AspBHI recognition preference, we generated a homology model of the AspBHI-DNA complex, and probed the importance of individual amino acids by mutagenesis. Ser41 and Arg42 are predicted to be located in the DNA minor groove 5' to the modified cytosine. Substitution of Ser41 with alanine (S41A) and cysteine (S41C) resulted in mutants with altered cleavage activity. All 19 Arg42 variants resulted in loss of endonuclease activity.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Scientific Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The MspJI modification-dependent restriction endonuclease recognizes 5-methylcytosine or 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in the context
of CNN(G/A) and cleaves both strands at fixed distances (N12/N16) away from the modified cytosine at the 3′-side. We determined the crystal structure of MspJI of Mycobacterium sp. JLS at 2.05-Å resolution. Each protein monomer harbors two domains: an N-terminal DNA-binding domain and a C-terminal
endonuclease. The N-terminal domain is structurally similar to that of the eukaryotic SET and RING-associated domain, which
is known to bind to a hemi-methylated CpG dinucleotide. Four protein monomers are found in the crystallographic asymmetric
unit. Analytical gel-filtration and ultracentrifugation measurements confirm that the protein exists as a tetramer in solution.
Two monomers form a back-to-back dimer mediated by their C-terminal endonuclease domains. Two back-to-back dimers interact
to generate a tetramer with two double-stranded DNA cleavage modules. Each cleavage module contains two active sites facing
each other, enabling double-strand DNA cuts. Biochemical, mutagenesis and structural characterization suggest three different
monomers of the tetramer may be involved respectively in binding the modified cytosine, making the first proximal N12 cleavage in the same strand and then the second distal N16 cleavage in the opposite strand. Both cleavage events require binding of at least a second recognition site either in cis or in trans.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Nucleic Acids Research