Cloning and analysis of a bifunctional methyltransferase/restriction endonuclease TspGWI, the prototype of a Thermus sp. enzyme family.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Restriction-modification systems are a diverse class of enzymes. They are classified into four major types: I, II, III and IV. We have previously proposed the existence of a Thermus sp. enzyme family, which belongs to type II restriction endonucleases (REases), however, it features also some characteristics of types I and III. Members include related thermophilic endonucleases: TspGWI, TaqII, TspDTI, and Tth111II. RESULTS: Here we describe cloning, mutagenesis and analysis of the prototype TspGWI enzyme that recognises the 5'-ACGGA-3' site and cleaves 11/9 nt downstream. We cloned, expressed, and mutagenised the tspgwi gene and investigated the properties of its product, the bifunctional TspGWI restriction/modification enzyme. Since TspGWI does not cleave DNA completely, a cloning method was devised, based on amino acid sequencing of internal proteolytic fragments. The deduced amino acid sequence of the enzyme shares significant sequence similarity with another representative of the Thermus sp. family - TaqII. Interestingly, these enzymes recognise similar, yet different sequences in the DNA. Both enzymes cleave DNA at the same distance, but differ in their ability to cleave single sites and in the requirement of S-adenosylmethionine as an allosteric activator for cleavage. Both the restriction endonuclease (REase) and methyltransferase (MTase) activities of wild type (wt) TspGWI (either recombinant or isolated from Thermus sp.) are dependent on the presence of divalent cations. CONCLUSION: TspGWI is a bifunctional protein comprising a tandem arrangement of Type I-like domains; particularly noticeable is the central HsdM-like module comprising a helical domain and a highly conserved S-adenosylmethionine-binding/catalytic MTase domain, containing DPAVGTG and NPPY motifs. TspGWI also possesses an N-terminal PD-(D/E)XK nuclease domain related to the corresponding domains in HsdR subunits, but lacks the ATP-dependent translocase module of the HsdR subunit and the additional domains that are involved in subunit-subunit interactions in Type I systems. The MTase and REase activities of TspGWI are autonomous and can be uncoupled. Structurally and functionally, the TspGWI protomer appears to be a streamlined 'half' of a Type I enzyme.
Project description:BACKGROUND: We previously defined a family of restriction endonucleases (REases) from Thermus sp., which share common biochemical and biophysical features, such as the fusion of both the nuclease and methyltransferase (MTase) activities in a single polypeptide, cleavage at a distance from the recognition site, large molecular size, modulation of activity by S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), and incomplete cleavage of the substrate DNA. Members include related thermophilic REases with five distinct specificities: TspGWI, TaqII, Tth111II/TthHB27I, TspDTI and TsoI. RESULTS: TspDTI, TsoI and isoschizomers Tth111II/TthHB27I recognize different, but related sequences: 5'-ATGAA-3', 5'-TARCCA-3' and 5'-CAARCA-3' respectively. Their amino acid sequences are similar, which is unusual among REases of different specificity. To gain insight into this group of REases, TspDTI, the prototype member of the Thermus sp. enzyme family, was cloned and characterized using a recently developed method for partially cleaving REases. CONCLUSIONS: TspDTI, TsoI and isoschizomers Tth111II/TthHB27I are closely related bifunctional enzymes. They comprise a tandem arrangement of Type I-like domains, like other Type IIC enzymes (those with a fusion of a REase and MTase domains), e.g. TspGWI, TaqII and MmeI, but their sequences are only remotely similar to these previously characterized enzymes. The characterization of TspDTI, a prototype member of this group, extends our understanding of sequence-function relationships among multifunctional restriction-modification enzymes.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In continuing our research into the new family of bifunctional restriction endonucleases (REases), we describe the cloning of the tsoIRM gene. Currently, the family includes six thermostable enzymes: TaqII, Tth111II, TthHB27I, TspGWI, TspDTI, TsoI, isolated from various Thermus sp. and two thermolabile enzymes: RpaI and CchII, isolated from mesophilic bacteria Rhodopseudomonas palustris and Chlorobium chlorochromatii, respectively. The enzymes have several properties in common. They are large proteins (molecular size app. 120 kDa), coded by fused genes, with the REase and methyltransferase (MTase) in a single polypeptide, where both activities are affected by S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). They recognize similar asymmetric cognate sites and cleave at a distance of 11/9 nt from the recognition site. Thus far, we have cloned and characterised TaqII, Tth111II, TthHB27I, TspGWI and TspDTI. RESULTS: TsoI REase, which originate from thermophilic Thermus scotoductus RFL4 (T. scotoductus), was cloned in Escherichia coli (E. coli) using two rounds of biochemical selection of the T. scotoductus genomic library for the TsoI methylation phenotype. DNA sequencing of restriction-resistant clones revealed the common open reading frame (ORF) of 3348 bp, coding for a large polypeptide of 1116 aminoacid (aa) residues, which exhibited a high level of similarity to Tth111II (50% identity, 60% similarity). The ORF was PCR-amplified, subcloned into a pET21 derivative under the control of a T7 promoter and was subjected to the third round of biochemical selection in order to isolate error-free clones. Induction experiments resulted in synthesis of an app. 125 kDa protein, exhibiting TsoI-specific DNA cleavage. Also, the wild-type (wt) protein was purified and reaction optima were determined. CONCLUSIONS: Previously we identified and cloned the Thermus family RM genes using a specially developed method based on partial proteolysis of thermostable REases. In the case of TsoI the classic biochemical selection method was successful, probably because of the substantially lower optimal reaction temperature of TsoI (app. 10-15°C). That allowed for sufficient MTase activity in vivo in recombinant E. coli. Interestingly, TsoI originates from bacteria with a high optimum growth temperature of 67°C, which indicates that not all bacterial enzymes match an organism's thermophilic nature, and yet remain functional cell components. Besides basic research advances, the cloning and characterisation of the new prototype REase from the Thermus sp. family enzymes is also of practical importance in gene manipulation technology, as it extends the range of available DNA cleavage specificities.
Project description:The TspDTI restriction endonuclease, which shows a novel recognition specificity 5'-ATGAA(N(11/9))-3', was isolated from Thermus sp. DT. TspDTI appears to be a 'twin' of restriction endonuclease TspGWI from Thermus sp. GW, as we have previously reported. TspGWI was isolated from the same location as TspDTI, it recognizes a related sequence 5'-ACGGA(N(11/9))-3' and has conserved cleavage positions. Both enzymes resemble two other class-IIS endonucleases from Thermus sp.: TaqII and Tth111II. N-terminal amino acid sequences of TspGWI tryptic peptides exhibit 88.9-100% similarity to the TaqII sequence. All four enzymes were purified to homogeneity; their polypeptide sizes (114.5-122 kDa) make them the largest class-IIS restriction endonucleases known to date. The existence of a Thermus sp. sub-family of class-IIS restriction endonucleases of a common origin is herein proposed.
Project description:BACKGROUND: An industrial approach to protein production demands maximization of cloned gene expression, balanced with the recombinant host's viability. Expression of toxic genes from thermophiles poses particular difficulties due to high GC content, mRNA secondary structures, rare codon usage and impairing the host's coding plasmid replication.TaqII belongs to a family of bifunctional enzymes, which are a fusion of the restriction endonuclease (REase) and methyltransferase (MTase) activities in a single polypeptide. The family contains thermostable REases with distinct specificities: TspGWI, TaqII, Tth111II/TthHB27I, TspDTI and TsoI and a few enzymes found in mesophiles. While not being isoschizomers, the enzymes exhibit amino acid (aa) sequence homologies, having molecular sizes of ~120 kDa share common modular architecture, resemble Type-I enzymes, cleave DNA 11/9 nt from the recognition sites, their activity is affected by S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). RESULTS: We describe the taqIIRM gene design, cloning and expression of the prototype TaqII. The enzyme amount in natural hosts is extremely low. To improve expression of the taqIIRM gene in Escherichia coli (E. coli), we designed and cloned a fully synthetic, low GC content, low mRNA secondary structure taqIIRM, codon-optimized gene under a bacteriophage lambda (?) PR promoter. Codon usage based on a modified 'one amino acid-one codon' strategy, weighted towards low GC content codons, resulted in approximately 10-fold higher expression of the synthetic gene. 718 codons of total 1105 were changed, comprising 65% of the taqIIRM gene. The reason for we choose a less effective strategy rather than a resulting in high expression yields 'codon randomization' strategy, was intentional, sub-optimal TaqII in vivo production, in order to decrease the high 'toxicity' of the REase-MTase protein. CONCLUSIONS: Recombinant wt and synthetic taqIIRM gene were cloned and expressed in E. coli. The modified 'one amino acid-one codon' method tuned for thermophile-coded genes was applied to obtain overexpression of the 'toxic' taqIIRM gene. The method appears suited for industrial production of thermostable 'toxic' enzymes in E. coli. This novel variant of the method biased toward increasing a gene's AT content may provide economic benefits for industrial applications.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Genomics and metagenomics are currently leading research areas, with DNA sequences accumulating at an exponential rate. Although enormous advances in DNA sequencing technologies are taking place, progress is frequently limited by factors such as genomic contig assembly and generation of representative libraries. A number of DNA fragmentation methods, such as hydrodynamic sharing, sonication or DNase I fragmentation, have various drawbacks, including DNA damage, poor fragmentation control, irreproducibility and non-overlapping DNA segment representation. Improvements in these limited DNA scission methods are consequently needed. An alternative method for obtaining higher quality DNA fragments involves partial digestion with restriction endonucleases (REases). RESULTS: We constructed a horse genomic library and a deletion derivative library of the butyrylcholinesterase cDNA coding region using a novel method, based on TaqII, Thermus sp. family bifunctional enzyme exhibiting cofactor analogue specificity relaxation. We used sinefungin (SIN) - an S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) analogue with reversed charge pattern, and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), to convert the 6-bp recognition site TaqII (5'-GACCGA-3' [11/9]) into a theoretical 2.9-bp REase, with 70 shortened variants of the canonical recognition sequence detected. Because partial DNA cleavage is an inherent feature of the Thermus sp. enzyme family, this modified TaqII is uniquely suited to quasi-random library generation. CONCLUSIONS: In the presence of SIN/DMSO, TaqII REase is transformed from cleaving every 4096 bp on average to cleaving every 58 bp. TaqII SIN/DMSO thus extends the palette of available REase prototype specificities. This phenomenon, employed under partial digestion conditions, was applied to quasi-random DNA fragmentation. Further applications include high sensitivity probe generation and metagenomic DNA amplification.
Project description:Two restriction-modification systems have been previously discovered in Thermus aquaticus YT-1. TaqI is a 263-amino acid (aa) Type IIP restriction enzyme that recognizes and cleaves within the symmetric sequence 5'-TCGA-3'. TaqII, in contrast, is a 1105-aa Type IIC restriction-and-modification enzyme, one of a family of Thermus homologs. TaqII was originally reported to recognize two different asymmetric sequences: 5'-GACCGA-3' and 5'-CACCCA-3'. We previously cloned the taqIIRM gene, purified the recombinant protein from Escherichia coli, and showed that TaqII recognizes the 5'-GACCGA-3' sequence only. Here, we report the discovery, isolation, and characterization of TaqIII, the third R-M system from T. aquaticus YT-1. TaqIII is a 1101-aa Type IIC/IIL enzyme and recognizes the 5'-CACCCA-3' sequence previously attributed to TaqII. The cleavage site is 11/9 nucleotides downstream of the A residue. The enzyme exhibits striking biochemical similarity to TaqII. The 93% identity between their aa sequences suggests that they have a common evolutionary origin. The genes are located on two separate plasmids, and are probably paralogs or pseudoparalogs. Putative positions and aa that specify DNA recognition were identified and recognition motifs for 6 uncharacterized Thermus-family enzymes were predicted.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Acoustic or hydrodynamic shearing, sonication and enzymatic digestion are used to fragment DNA. However, these methods have several disadvantages, such as DNA damage, difficulties in fragmentation control, irreproducibility and under-representation of some DNA segments. The DNA fragmentation tool would be a gentle enzymatic method, offering cleavage frequency high enough to eliminate DNA fragments distribution bias and allow for easy control of partial digests. Only three such frequently cleaving natural restriction endonucleases (REases) were discovered: CviJI, SetI and FaiI. Therefore, we have previously developed two artificial enzymatic specificities, cleaving DNA approximately every ~?3-bp: TspGWI/sinefungin (SIN) and TaqII/SIN. RESULTS:In this paper we present the third developed specificity: TthHB27I/SIN(SAM) - a new genomic tool, based on Type IIS/IIC/IIG Thermus-family REases-methyltransferases (MTases). In the presence of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) or its analogue SIN, the 6-bp cognate TthHB27I recognition sequence 5'-CAARCA-3' is converted into a combined 3.2-3.0-bp 'site' or its statistical equivalent, while a cleavage distance of 11/9 nt is retained. Protocols for various modes of limited DNA digestions were developed. CONCLUSIONS:In the presence of DMSO and SAM or SIN, TthHB27I is transformed from rare 6-bp cutter to a very frequent one, approximately 3-bp. Thus, TthHB27I/SIN(SAM) comprises a new tool in the very low-represented segment of such prototype REases specificities. Moreover, this modified TthHB27I enzyme is uniquely suited for controlled DNA fragmentation, due to partial DNA cleavage, which is an inherent feature of the Thermus-family enzymes. Such tool can be used for quasi-random libraries generation as well as for other DNA manipulations, requiring high frequency cleavage and uniform distribution of cuts along DNA.
Project description:The Type I restriction-modification enzymes comprise three protein subunits; HsdS and HsdM that form a methyltransferase (MTase) and HsdR that associates with the MTase and catalyses Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP)-dependent DNA translocation and cleavage. Here, we examine whether the MTase and HsdR components can 'turnover' in vitro, i.e. whether they can catalyse translocation and cleavage events on one DNA molecule, dissociate and then re-bind a second DNA molecule. Translocation termination by both EcoKI and EcoR124I leads to HsdR dissociation from linear DNA but not from circular DNA. Following DNA cleavage, the HsdR subunits appear unable to dissociate even though the DNA is linear, suggesting a tight interaction with the cleaved product. The MTases of EcoKI and EcoAI can dissociate from DNA following either translocation or cleavage and can initiate reactions on new DNA molecules as long as free HsdR molecules are available. In contrast, the MTase of EcoR124I does not turnover and additional cleavage of circular DNA is not observed by inclusion of RecBCD, a helicase-nuclease that degrades the linear DNA product resulting from Type I cleavage. Roles for Type I restriction endonuclease subunit dynamics in restriction alleviation in the cell are discussed.
Project description:Most type II restriction-modification (R-M) systems produce separate restriction endonuclease (REase) and methyltransferase (MTase) proteins. After R-M system genes enter a new cell, protective MTase must appear before REase to avoid host chromosome cleavage. The basis for this apparent temporal regulation is not well understood. PvuII and some other R-M systems appear to achieve this delay by cotranscribing the REase gene with the gene for an autogenous transcription activator/repressor (the 'C' protein C.PvuII). To test this model, bacteriophage M13 was used to introduce the PvuII genes into a bacterial population in a relatively synchronous manner. REase mRNA and activity appeared approximately 10 min after those of the MTase, but never rose if there was an inactivating pvuIIC mutation. Infection with recombinant M13pvuII phage had little effect on cell growth, relative to infection with parental M13. However, infection of cells pre-expressing C.PvuII led to cessation of growth. This study presents the first direct demonstration of delayed REase expression, relative to MTase, when type II R-M genes enter a new host cell. Surprisingly, though the C and REase genes are cotranscribed, the pvuIIC portion of the mRNA was more abundant than the pvuIIR portion after stable establishment of the R-M system.
Project description:Restriction-modification (R-M) systems are highly widespread among bacteria and archaea, and they appear to play a pivotal role in modulating horizontal gene transfer, as well as in protecting the host organism against viruses and other invasive DNA particles. Type II R-M systems specify two independent enzymes: a restriction endonuclease (REase) and protective DNA methyltransferase (MTase). If the cell is to survive, the counteracting activities as toxin and antitoxin, must be finely balanced in vivo. The molecular basis of this regulatory process remains unclear and current searches for regulatory elements in R-M modules are focused mainly at the transcription step. In this report, we show new aspects of REase control that are linked to translation. We used the EcoVIII R-M system as a model. Both, the REase and MTase genes for this R-M system contain an unusually high number of rare arginine codons (AGA and AGG) when compared to the rest of the E. coli K-12 genome. Clusters of these codons near the N-terminus of the REase greatly affect the translational efficiency. Changing these to higher frequency codons for E. coli (CGC) improves the REase synthesis, making the R-M system more potent to defend its host against bacteriophages. However, this improved efficiency in synthesis reduces host fitness due to increased autorestriction. We hypothesize that expression of the endonuclease gene can be modulated depending on the host genetic context and we propose a novel post-transcriptional mode of R-M system regulation that alleviates the potential lethal action of the restriction enzyme.