Nucleotide exchange and excision technology (NExT) DNA shuffling: a robust method for DNA fragmentation and directed evolution.
ABSTRACT: DNA shuffling is widely used for optimizing complex properties contained within DNA and proteins. Demonstrated here is the amplification of a gene library by PCR using uridine triphosphate (dUTP) as a fragmentation defining exchange nucleotide with thymidine, together with the three other nucleotides. The incorporated uracil bases were excised using uracil-DNA-glycosylase and the DNA backbone subsequently cleaved with piperidine. These end-point reactions required no adjustments. Polyacrylamide urea gels demonstrated adjustable fragmentation size over a wide range. The oligonucleotide pool was reassembled by internal primer extension to full length with a proofreading polymerase to improve yield over Taq. We present a computer program that accurately predicts the fragmentation pattern and yields all possible fragment sequences with their respective likelihood of occurrence, taking the guesswork out of the fragmentation. The technique has been demonstrated by shuffling chloramphenicol acetyltransferase gene libraries. A 33% dUTP PCR resulted in shuffled clones with an average parental fragment size of 86 bases even without employment of a fragment size separation, and revealed a low mutation rate (0.1%). NExT DNA fragmentation is rational, easily executed and reproducible, making it superior to other techniques. Additionally, NExT could feasibly be applied to several other nucleotide analogs.
Project description:We introduce a quantitative framework for assessing the generation of crossovers in DNA shuffling experiments. The approach uses free energy calculations and complete sequence information to model the annealing process. Statistics obtained for the annealing events then are combined with a reassembly algorithm to infer crossover allocation in the reassembled sequences. The fraction of reassembled sequences containing zero, one, two, or more crossovers and the probability that a given nucleotide position in a reassembled sequence is the site of a crossover event are estimated. Comparisons of the predictions against experimental data for five example systems demonstrate good agreement despite the fact that no adjustable parameters are used. An in silico case study of a set of 12 subtilases examines the effect of fragmentation length, annealing temperature, sequence identity and number of shuffled sequences on the number, type, and distribution of crossovers. A computational verification of crossover aggregation in regions of near-perfect sequence identity and the presence of synergistic reassembly in family DNA shuffling is obtained.
Project description:Uracil appears in DNA as a result of cytosine deamination and by incorporation from the dUTP pool. As potentially mutagenic and deleterious for cell regulation, uracil must be removed from DNA. The major pathway of its repair is initiated by uracil-DNA glycosylases (UNG), ubiquitously found enzymes that hydrolyze the N-glycosidic bond of deoxyuridine in DNA. This review describes the current understanding of the mechanism of uracil search and recognition by UNG. The structure of UNG proteins from several species has been solved, revealing a specific uracil-binding pocket located in a DNA-binding groove. DNA in the complex with UNG is highly distorted to allow the extrahelical recognition of uracil. Thermodynamic studies suggest that UNG binds with appreciable affinity to any DNA, mainly due to the interactions with the charged backbone. The increase in the affinity for damaged DNA is insufficient to account for the exquisite specificity of UNG for uracil. This specificity is likely to result from multistep lesion recognition process, in which normal bases are rejected at one or several pre-excision stages of enzyme-substrate complex isomerization, and only uracil can proceed to enter the active site in a catalytically competent conformation. Search for the lesion by UNG involves random sliding along DNA alternating with dissociation-association events and partial eversion of undamaged bases for initial sampling.
Project description:The known archaeal family B DNA polymerases are unable to participate in the PCR in the presence of uracil. Here, we report on a novel archaeal family B DNA polymerase from Nanoarchaeum equitans that can successfully utilize deaminated bases such as uracil and hypoxanthine and on its application to PCR. N. equitans family B DNA polymerase (Neq DNA polymerase) produced lambda DNA fragments up to 10 kb with an approximately 2.2-fold-lower error rate (5.53 x 10(-6)) than Taq DNA polymerase (11.98 x 10(-6)). Uniquely, Neq DNA polymerase also amplified lambda DNA fragments using dUTP (in place of dTTP) or dITP (partially replaced with dGTP). To increase PCR efficiency, Taq and Neq DNA polymerases were mixed in different ratios; a ratio of 10:1 efficiently facilitated long PCR (20 kb). In the presence of dUTP, the PCR efficiency of the enzyme mixture was two- to threefold higher than that of either Taq and Neq DNA polymerase alone. These results suggest that Neq DNA polymerase and Neq plus DNA polymerase (a mixture of Taq and Neq DNA polymerases) are useful in DNA amplification and PCR-based applications, particularly in clinical diagnoses using uracil-DNA glycosylase.
Project description:We have developed a protocol to assemble in one step and one tube at least nine separate DNA fragments together into an acceptor vector, with 90% of recombinant clones obtained containing the desired construct. This protocol is based on the use of type IIs restriction enzymes and is performed by simply subjecting a mix of 10 undigested input plasmids (nine insert plasmids and the acceptor vector) to a restriction-ligation and transforming the resulting mix in competent cells. The efficiency of this protocol allows generating libraries of recombinant genes by combining in one reaction several fragment sets prepared from different parental templates. As an example, we have applied this strategy for shuffling of trypsinogen from three parental templates (bovine cationic trypsinogen, bovine anionic trypsinogen and human cationic trypsinogen) each divided in 9 separate modules. We show that one round of shuffling using the 27 trypsinogen entry plasmids can easily produce the 19,683 different possible combinations in one single restriction-ligation and that expression screening of a subset of the library allows identification of variants that can lead to higher expression levels of trypsin activity. This protocol, that we call 'Golden Gate shuffling', is robust, simple and efficient, can be performed with templates that have no homology, and can be combined with other shuffling protocols in order to introduce any variation in any part of a given gene.
Project description:Fine-tuned regulation of the cellular nucleotide pools is indispensable for faithful replication of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA). The genetic information is also safeguarded by DNA damage recognition and repair processes. Uracil is one of the most frequently occurring erroneous bases in DNA; it can arise from cytosine deamination or thymine-replacing incorporation. Two enzyme activities are primarily involved in keeping DNA uracil-free: dUTPase (dUTP pyrophosphatase) activity that prevent thymine-replacing incorporation and uracil-DNA glycosylase activity that excise uracil from DNA and initiate uracil-excision repair. Both dUTPase and the most efficient uracil-DNA glycosylase (UNG) is thought to be ubiquitous in free-living organisms. In the present work, we have systematically investigated the genotype of deposited fully sequenced bacterial and Archaeal genomes. We have performed bioinformatic searches in these genomes using the already well described dUTPase and UNG gene sequences. For dUTPases, we have included the trimeric all-beta and the dimeric all-alpha families and also, the bifunctional dCTP (deoxycytidine triphosphate) deaminase-dUTPase sequences. Surprisingly, we have found that in contrast to the generally held opinion, a wide number of bacterial and Archaeal species lack all of the previously described dUTPase gene(s). The dut- genotype is present in diverse bacterial phyla indicating that loss of this (or these) gene(s) has occurred multiple times during evolution. We discuss potential survival strategies in lack of dUTPases, such as simultaneous lack or inhibition of UNG and possession of exogenous or alternate metabolic enzymes involved in uracil-DNA metabolism. The potential that genes previously not associated with dUTPase activity may still encode enzymes capable of hydrolyzing dUTP is also discussed. Our data indicate that several unicellular microorganisms may efficiently cope with a dut- genotype lacking all of the previously described dUTPase genes, and potentially leading to an unusual uracil-enrichment in their genomic DNA.
Project description:The enzyme uracil DNA glycosylase (UNG) excises unwanted uracil bases in the genome using an extrahelical base recognition mechanism. Efficient removal of uracil is essential for prevention of C-to-T transition mutations arising from cytosine deamination, cytotoxic U*A pairs arising from incorporation of dUTP in DNA, and for increasing immunoglobulin gene diversity during the acquired immune response. A central event in all of these UNG-mediated processes is the singling out of rare U*A or U*G base pairs in a background of approximately 10(9) T*A or C*G base pairs in the human genome. Here we establish for the human and Escherichia coli enzymes that discrimination of thymine and uracil is initiated by thermally induced opening of T*A and U*A base pairs and not by active participation of the enzyme. Thus, base-pair dynamics has a critical role in the genome-wide search for uracil, and may be involved in initial damage recognition by other DNA repair glycosylases.
Project description:Uracil-DNA glycosylase (Ung) is a DNA repair enzyme that excises uracil bases from DNA, where they appear through deamination of cytosine or incorporation from a cellular dUTP pool. DNA repair enzymes often use one-dimensional diffusion along DNA to accelerate target search; however, this mechanism remains poorly investigated mechanistically. We used oligonucleotide substrates containing two uracil residues in defined positions to characterize one-dimensional search of DNA by Escherichia coli Ung. Mg(2+) ions suppressed the search in double-stranded DNA to a higher extent than K(+) likely due to tight binding of Mg(2+) to DNA phosphates. Ung was able to efficiently overcome short single-stranded gaps within double-stranded DNA. Varying the distance between the lesions and fitting the data to a theoretical model of DNA random walk, we estimated the characteristic one-dimensional search distance of ~100 nucleotides and translocation rate constant of ~2×10(6) s(-1).
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Planarians including Dugesia ryukyuensis (Dr) have strong regenerative abilities that require enhanced DNA replication. Knockdown of the DUT gene in Dr, which encodes deoxyuridine 5'-triphosphate pyrophosphatase (dUTPase), promotes DNA fragmentation, inhibits regeneration, and eventually leads to death. dUTPase catalyzes the hydrolysis of dUTP to dUMP and pyrophosphate. dUTPase is known to prevent uracil misincorporation in DNA by balancing the intracellular ratio between dUTP and dTTP, and contributes to genome stability. Nevertheless, the catalytic performance of Dr-dUTPase has not been reported. RESULTS:To confirm the catalytic activity of Dr-dUTPase, we cloned and expressed Dr-DUT in E. coli. Then, we purified Dr-dUTPase using His-tag and removed the tag with thrombin. The resulting Dr-dUTPase had the leading peptide Gly-Ser-His- originating from the vector at the amino terminus, and a mutation, Arg66Lys, to remove the internal thrombin site. We observed the hydrolysis of dUTP by Dr-dUTPase using Cresol Red as a proton sensor. The Km for dUTP was determined to be 4.0 µM, which is similar to that for human dUTPase. Dr-dUTPase exhibited a preference for dUTP over the other nucleotides. We conclude the Dr-dUTPase has catalytic activity.
Project description:5-Fluorouracil (5-FU), 5-fluorodeoxyuridine (5-dUrd), and raltitrixed (RTX) are anticancer agents that target thymidylate synthase (TS), thereby blocking the conversion of dUMP into dTMP. In budding yeast, 5-FU promotes a large increase in the dUMP/dTMP ratio leading to massive polymerase-catalyzed incorporation of uracil (U) into genomic DNA, and to a lesser extent 5-FU, which are both excised by yeast uracil DNA glycosylase (UNG), leading to DNA fragmentation and cell death. In contrast, the toxicity of 5-FU and RTX in human and mouse cell lines does not involve UNG, but, instead, other DNA glycosylases that can excise uracil derivatives. To elucidate the basis for these divergent findings in yeast and human cells, we have investigated how these drugs perturb cellular dUTP and TTP pool levels and the relative abilities of three human DNA glycosylases (hUNG2, hSMUG1, and hTDG) to excise various TS drug-induced lesions in DNA. We found that 5-dUrd only modestly increases the dUTP and dTTP pool levels in asynchronous MEF, HeLa, and HT-29 human cell lines when growth occurs in standard culture media. In contrast, treatment of chicken DT40 B cells with 5-dUrd or RTX resulted in large increases in the dUTP/TTP ratio. Surprisingly, even though UNG is the only DNA glycosylase in DT40 cells that can act on U·A base pairs derived from dUTP incorporation, an isogenic ung(-/-) DT40 cell line showed little change in its sensitivity to RTX as compared to control cells. In vitro kinetic analyses of the purified human enzymes show that hUNG2 is the most powerful catalyst for excision of 5-FU and U regardless of whether it is found in base pairs with A or G or present in single-stranded DNA. Fully consistent with the in vitro activity assays, nuclear extracts isolated from human and chicken cell cultures show that hUNG2 is the overwhelming activity for removal of both U and 5-FU, despite its bystander status with respect to drug toxicity in these cell lines. The diverse outcomes of TS inhibition with respect to nucleotide pool levels, the nature of the resulting DNA lesion, and the DNA repair response are discussed.
Project description:We describe a computational model of DNA shuffling based on the thermodynamics and kinetics of this process. The model independently tracks a representative ensemble of DNA molecules and records their states at every stage of a shuffling reaction. These data can subsequently be analyzed to yield information on any relevant metric, including reassembly efficiency, crossover number, type and distribution, and DNA sequence length distributions. The predictive ability of the model was validated by comparison to three independent sets of experimental data, and analysis of the simulation results led to several unique insights into the DNA shuffling process. We examine a tradeoff between crossover frequency and reassembly efficiency and illustrate the effects of experimental parameters on this relationship. Furthermore, we discuss conditions that promote the formation of useless "junk" DNA sequences or multimeric sequences containing multiple copies of the reassembled product. This model will therefore aid in the design of optimal shuffling reaction conditions.