Analysis of the Intrinsically Disordered N-Terminus of the DNA Junction-Resolving Enzyme T7 Endonuclease I: Identification of Structure Formed upon DNA Binding

Alasdair D J Freeman, Michael Stevens, Anne Cecile Declais, Adam Leahy, Katherine Mackay, Hassane El Mkami, David M J Lilley, David G. Norman (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Abstract

The four-way (Holliday) DNA junction of homologous recombination is processed by the symmetrical cleavage of two strands by a nuclease. These junction-resolving enzymes bind to four-way junctions in dimeric form, distorting the structure of the junction in the process. Crystal structures of T7 endonuclease I have been determined as free protein, and the complex with a DNA junction. In neither crystal structure was the N-terminal 16-amino acid peptide visible, yet deletion of this peptide has a marked effect on the resolution process. Here we have investigated the N-terminal peptide by inclusion of spin-label probes at unique sites within this region, studied by electron paramagnetic resonance. Continuous wave experiments show that these labels are mobile in the free protein but become constrained on binding a DNA junction, with the main interaction occurring for residues 7-10 and 12. Distance measurements between equivalent positions within the two peptides of a dimer using PELDOR showed that the intermonomeric distances for residues 2-12 are long and broadly distributed in the free protein but are significantly shortened and become more defined on binding to DNA. These results suggest that the N-terminal peptides become more organized on binding to the DNA junction and nestle into the minor grooves at the branchpoint, consistent with the biochemical data indicating an important role in the resolution process. This study demonstrates the presence of structure within a protein region that cannot be viewed by crystallography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4166-4172
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemistry
Volume55
Issue number30
Early online date7 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2016

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Deoxyribonuclease I
Peptides
DNA
Enzymes
Proteins
Crystal structure
Cruciform DNA
Spin Labels
Crystallography
Distance measurement
Homologous Recombination
Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy
Dimers
Paramagnetic resonance
Labels
Amino Acids
Experiments

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title = "Analysis of the Intrinsically Disordered N-Terminus of the DNA Junction-Resolving Enzyme T7 Endonuclease I: Identification of Structure Formed upon DNA Binding",
abstract = "The four-way (Holliday) DNA junction of homologous recombination is processed by the symmetrical cleavage of two strands by a nuclease. These junction-resolving enzymes bind to four-way junctions in dimeric form, distorting the structure of the junction in the process. Crystal structures of T7 endonuclease I have been determined as free protein, and the complex with a DNA junction. In neither crystal structure was the N-terminal 16-amino acid peptide visible, yet deletion of this peptide has a marked effect on the resolution process. Here we have investigated the N-terminal peptide by inclusion of spin-label probes at unique sites within this region, studied by electron paramagnetic resonance. Continuous wave experiments show that these labels are mobile in the free protein but become constrained on binding a DNA junction, with the main interaction occurring for residues 7-10 and 12. Distance measurements between equivalent positions within the two peptides of a dimer using PELDOR showed that the intermonomeric distances for residues 2-12 are long and broadly distributed in the free protein but are significantly shortened and become more defined on binding to DNA. These results suggest that the N-terminal peptides become more organized on binding to the DNA junction and nestle into the minor grooves at the branchpoint, consistent with the biochemical data indicating an important role in the resolution process. This study demonstrates the presence of structure within a protein region that cannot be viewed by crystallography.",
author = "Freeman, {Alasdair D J} and Michael Stevens and Declais, {Anne Cecile} and Adam Leahy and Katherine Mackay and {El Mkami}, Hassane and Lilley, {David M J} and Norman, {David G.}",
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T1 - Analysis of the Intrinsically Disordered N-Terminus of the DNA Junction-Resolving Enzyme T7 Endonuclease I

T2 - Identification of Structure Formed upon DNA Binding

AU - Freeman, Alasdair D J

AU - Stevens, Michael

AU - Declais, Anne Cecile

AU - Leahy, Adam

AU - Mackay, Katherine

AU - El Mkami, Hassane

AU - Lilley, David M J

AU - Norman, David G.

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Y1 - 2016/8/2

N2 - The four-way (Holliday) DNA junction of homologous recombination is processed by the symmetrical cleavage of two strands by a nuclease. These junction-resolving enzymes bind to four-way junctions in dimeric form, distorting the structure of the junction in the process. Crystal structures of T7 endonuclease I have been determined as free protein, and the complex with a DNA junction. In neither crystal structure was the N-terminal 16-amino acid peptide visible, yet deletion of this peptide has a marked effect on the resolution process. Here we have investigated the N-terminal peptide by inclusion of spin-label probes at unique sites within this region, studied by electron paramagnetic resonance. Continuous wave experiments show that these labels are mobile in the free protein but become constrained on binding a DNA junction, with the main interaction occurring for residues 7-10 and 12. Distance measurements between equivalent positions within the two peptides of a dimer using PELDOR showed that the intermonomeric distances for residues 2-12 are long and broadly distributed in the free protein but are significantly shortened and become more defined on binding to DNA. These results suggest that the N-terminal peptides become more organized on binding to the DNA junction and nestle into the minor grooves at the branchpoint, consistent with the biochemical data indicating an important role in the resolution process. This study demonstrates the presence of structure within a protein region that cannot be viewed by crystallography.

AB - The four-way (Holliday) DNA junction of homologous recombination is processed by the symmetrical cleavage of two strands by a nuclease. These junction-resolving enzymes bind to four-way junctions in dimeric form, distorting the structure of the junction in the process. Crystal structures of T7 endonuclease I have been determined as free protein, and the complex with a DNA junction. In neither crystal structure was the N-terminal 16-amino acid peptide visible, yet deletion of this peptide has a marked effect on the resolution process. Here we have investigated the N-terminal peptide by inclusion of spin-label probes at unique sites within this region, studied by electron paramagnetic resonance. Continuous wave experiments show that these labels are mobile in the free protein but become constrained on binding a DNA junction, with the main interaction occurring for residues 7-10 and 12. Distance measurements between equivalent positions within the two peptides of a dimer using PELDOR showed that the intermonomeric distances for residues 2-12 are long and broadly distributed in the free protein but are significantly shortened and become more defined on binding to DNA. These results suggest that the N-terminal peptides become more organized on binding to the DNA junction and nestle into the minor grooves at the branchpoint, consistent with the biochemical data indicating an important role in the resolution process. This study demonstrates the presence of structure within a protein region that cannot be viewed by crystallography.

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