Photoreduction of the folate cofactor in members of the photolyase family.
ABSTRACT: Cryptochromes and DNA photolyases are related flavoproteins with flavin adenine dinucleotide as the common cofactor. Whereas photolyases repair DNA lesions caused by UV radiation, cryptochromes generally lack repair activity but act as UV-A/blue light photoreceptors. Two distinct electron transfer (ET) pathways have been identified in DNA photolyases. One pathway uses within its catalytic cycle, light-driven electron transfer from FADH(-)* to the DNA lesion and electron back-transfer to semireduced FADH(o) after photoproduct cleavage. This cyclic ET pathway seems to be unique for the photolyase subfamily. The second ET pathway mediates photoreduction of semireduced or fully oxidized FAD via a triad of aromatic residues that is conserved in photolyases and cryptochromes. The 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate (5,10-methenylTHF) antenna cofactor in members of the photolyase family is bleached upon light excitation. This process has been described as photodecomposition of 5,10-methenylTHF. We show that photobleaching of 5,10-methenylTHF in Arabidopsis cry3, a member of the cryptochrome DASH family, with repair activity for cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer lesions in single-stranded DNA and in Escherichia coli photolyase results from reduction of 5,10-methenylTHF to 5,10-methyleneTHF that requires the intact tryptophan triad. Thus, a third ET pathway exists in members of the photolyase family that remained undiscovered so far.
Project description:Photolyases and cryptochromes are evolutionarily related flavoproteins with distinct functions. While photolyases can repair UV-induced DNA lesions in a light-dependent manner, cryptochromes regulate growth, development and the circadian clock in plants and animals. Here we report about two photolyase-related proteins, named PhrA and PhrB, found in the phytopathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens. PhrA belongs to the class III cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) photolyases, the sister class of plant cryptochromes, while PhrB belongs to a new class represented in at least 350 bacterial organisms. Both proteins contain flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) as a primary catalytic cofactor, which is photoreduceable by blue light. Spectral analysis of PhrA confirmed the presence of 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF) as antenna cofactor. PhrB comprises also an additional chromophore, absorbing in the short wavelength region but its spectrum is distinct from known antenna cofactors in other photolyases. Homology modeling suggests that PhrB contains an Fe-S cluster as cofactor which was confirmed by elemental analysis and EPR spectroscopy. According to protein sequence alignments the classical tryptophan photoreduction pathway is present in PhrA but absent in PhrB. Although PhrB is clearly distinguished from other photolyases including PhrA it is, like PhrA, required for in vivo photoreactivation. Moreover, PhrA can repair UV-induced DNA lesions in vitro. Thus, A. tumefaciens contains two photolyase homologs of which PhrB represents the first member of the cryptochrome/photolyase family (CPF) that contains an iron-sulfur cluster.
Project description:Photolyases are proteins with an FAD chromophore that repair UV-induced pyrimidine dimers on the DNA in a light-dependent manner. The cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer class III photolyases are structurally unknown but closely related to plant cryptochromes, which serve as blue-light photoreceptors. Here we present the crystal structure of a class III photolyase termed photolyase-related protein A (PhrA) of Agrobacterium tumefaciens at 1.67-Å resolution. PhrA contains 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF) as an antenna chromophore with a unique binding site and mode. Two Trp residues play pivotal roles for stabilizing MTHF by a double ?-stacking sandwich. Plant cryptochrome I forms a pocket at the same site that could accommodate MTHF or a similar molecule. The PhrA structure and mutant studies showed that electrons flow during FAD photoreduction proceeds via two Trp triads. The structural studies on PhrA give a clearer picture on the evolutionary transition from photolyase to photoreceptor.
Project description:Photolyase, a flavoenzyme containing flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) molecule as a catalytic cofactor, repairs UV-induced DNA damage of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) and pyrimidine-pyrimidone (6-4) photoproduct using blue light. The FAD cofactor, conserved in the whole protein superfamily of photolyase/cryptochromes, adopts a unique folded configuration at the active site that plays a critical functional role in DNA repair. Here, we review our comprehensive characterization of the dynamics of flavin cofactor and its repair photocycles by different classes of photolyases on the most fundamental level. Using femtosecond spectroscopy and molecular biology, significant advances have recently been made to map out the entire dynamical evolution and determine actual timescales of all the catalytic processes in photolyases. The repair of CPD reveals seven electron-transfer (ET) reactions among ten elementary steps by a cyclic ET radical mechanism through bifurcating ET pathways, a direct tunneling route mediated by the intervening adenine and a two-step hopping path bridged by the intermediate adenine from the cofactor to damaged DNA, through the conserved folded flavin at the active site. The unified, bifurcated ET mechanism elucidates the molecular origin of various repair quantum yields of different photolyases from three life kingdoms. For 6-4 photoproduct repair, a similar cyclic ET mechanism operates and a new cyclic proton transfer with a conserved histidine residue at the active site of (6-4) photolyases is revealed.
Project description:Despite the sequence and structural conservation between cryptochromes and photolyases, members of the cryptochrome/photolyase (flavo)protein family, their functions are divergent. Whereas photolyases are DNA repair enzymes that use visible light to lesion-specifically remove UV-induced DNA damage, cryptochromes act as photoreceptors and circadian clock proteins. To address the functional diversity of cryptochromes and photolyases, we investigated the effect of ectopically expressed Arabidopsis thaliana (6-4)PP photolyase and Potorous tridactylus CPD-photolyase (close and distant relatives of mammalian cryptochromes, respectively), on the performance of the mammalian cryptochromes in the mammalian circadian clock. Using photolyase transgenic mice, we show that Potorous CPD-photolyase affects the clock by shortening the period of behavioral rhythms. Furthermore, constitutively expressed CPD-photolyase is shown to reduce the amplitude of circadian oscillations in cultured cells and to inhibit CLOCK/BMAL1 driven transcription by interacting with CLOCK. Importantly, we show that Potorous CPD-photolyase can restore the molecular oscillator in the liver of (clock-deficient) Cry1/Cry2 double knockout mice. These data demonstrate that a photolyase can act as a true cryptochrome. These findings shed new light on the importance of the core structure of mammalian cryptochromes in relation to its function in the circadian clock and contribute to our further understanding of the evolution of the cryptochrome/photolyase protein family.
Project description:Proteins of the cryptochrome/photolyase family share high sequence similarities, common folds, and the flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) cofactor, but exhibit diverse physiological functions. Mammalian cryptochromes are essential regulatory components of the 24 h circadian clock, whereas (6-4) photolyases recognize and repair UV-induced DNA damage by using light energy absorbed by FAD. Despite increasing knowledge about physiological functions from genetic analyses, the molecular mechanisms and conformational dynamics involved in clock signaling and DNA repair remain poorly understood. The (6-4) photolyase, which has strikingly high similarity to human clock cryptochromes, is a prototypic biological system to study conformational dynamics of cryptochrome/photolyase family proteins. The entire light-dependent DNA repair process for (6-4) photolyase can be reproduced in a simple in vitro system. To decipher pivotal reactions of the common FAD cofactor, we accomplished time-resolved measurements of radical formation, diffusion, and protein conformational changes during light-dependent repair by full-length (6-4) photolyase on DNA carrying a single UV-induced damage. The (6-4) photolyase by itself showed significant volume changes after blue-light activation, indicating protein conformational changes distant from the flavin cofactor. A drastic diffusion change was observed only in the presence of both (6-4) photolyase and damaged DNA, and not for (6-4) photolyase alone or with undamaged DNA. Thus, we propose that this diffusion change reflects the rapid (50 ?s time constant) dissociation of the protein from the repaired DNA product. Conformational changes with such fast turnover would likely enable DNA repair photolyases to access the entire genome in cells.
Project description:Photolyase, a photomachine discovered half a century ago for repair of sun-induced DNA damage of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) and pyrimidine (6-4) pyrimidone photoproducts (6-4PPs), has been characterized extensively in biochemistry (function), structure and dynamics since 1980s. The molecular mechanism and repair photocycle have been revealed at the most fundamental level. Using femtosecond spectroscopy, we have mapped out the entire dynamical evolution and determined all actual timescales of the catalytic processes. Here, we review our recent efforts in studies of the dynamics of DNA repair by photolyases. The repair of CPDs in three life kingdoms includes seven electron transfer (ET) reactions among 10 elementary steps through initial bifurcating ET pathways, a direct tunneling route and a two-step hopping path both through an intervening adenine from the cofactor to CPD, with a conserved folded structure at the active site. The repair of 6-4PPs is challenging and requires similar ET reactions and a new cyclic proton transfer with a conserved histidine residue at the active site of (6-4) photolyases. Finally, we also summarize our efforts on multiple intraprotein ET of photolyases in different redox states and such mechanistic studies are critical to the functional mechanism of homologous cryptochromes of blue-light photoreceptors.
Project description:DNA-photolyases use UV-visible light to repair DNA damage caused by UV radiation. The two major types of DNA damage are cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) and 6-4 photoproducts (6-4PP), which are repaired under illumination by CPD and 6-4 photolyases, respectively. Cryptochromes are proteins related to DNA photolyases with strongly reduced or lost DNA repair activity, and have been shown to function as blue-light photoreceptors and to play important roles in circadian rhythms in plants and animals. Both photolyases and cryptochromes belong to the cryptochrome/photolyase family, and are widely distributed in all organisms. Here we describe the characterization of cry1, a member of the cryptochrome/photolyase protein family of the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei. We determined that cry1 transcript accumulates when the fungus is exposed to light, and that such accumulation depends on the photoreceptor Blr1 and is modulated by Envoy. Conidia of cry1 mutants show decreased photorepair capacity of DNA damage caused by UV light. In contrast, strains over-expressing Cry1 show increased repair, as compared to the parental strain even in the dark. These observations suggest that Cry1 may be stimulating other systems involved in DNA repair, such as the nucleotide excision repair system. We show that Cry1, heterologously expressed and purified from E. coli, is capable of binding to undamaged and 6-4PP damaged DNA. Photorepair assays in vitro clearly show that Cry1 repairs 6-4PP, but not CPD and Dewar DNA lesions.
Project description:Cryptochromes use near-UV/blue light to regulate a variety of growth and adaptive process. Recent biochemical studies demonstrate that the Cryptochrome-Drosophila, Arabidopsis, Synechocystis, Human (Cry-DASH) subfamily of cryptochromes have photolyase activity exclusively for single-stranded cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD)-containing DNA substrate [Selby C, Sancar A (2006) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103:17696-17700]. The crystal structure of cryptochrome 3 from Arabidopsis thaliana (At-Cry3), a member of the Cry-DASH proteins, at 2.1 A resolution, reveals that both the light-harvesting cofactor 5,10-methenyl-tetrahydrofolyl-polyglutamate (MTHF) and the catalytic cofactor flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) are noncovalently bound to the protein. The residues responsible for binding of MTHF in At-Cry3 are not conserved in Escherichia coli photolyase but are strongly conserved in the Cry-DASH subfamily of cryptochromes. The distance and orientation between MTHF and flavin adenine dinucleotide in At-Cry3 is similar to that of E. coli photolyase, in conjunction with the presence of electron transfer chain, suggesting the conservation of redox activity in At-Cry3. Two amino acid substitutions and the penetration of three charged side chains into the CPD-binding cavity in At-Cry3 alter the hydrophobic environment that is accommodating the hydrophobic sugar ring and thymine base moieties in class I CPD photolyases. These changes most likely make CPD binding less energetically favorable and, hence, insufficient to compete with pairing and stacking interactions between the CPD and the duplex DNA substrate. Thus, Cry-DASH subfamily proteins may be unable to stabilize CPD flipped out from the duplex DNA substrate but may be able to preserve the DNA repair activity toward single-stranded CPD-containing DNA substrate.
Project description:This contribution describes molecular dynamics, semi-empirical and ab-initio studies of the primary photo-induced electron transfer reaction in DNA photolyase. DNA photolyases are FADH(-)-containing proteins that repair UV-damaged DNA by photo-induced electron transfer. A DNA photolyase recognizes and binds to cyclobutatne pyrimidine dimer lesions of DNA. The protein repairs a bound lesion by transferring an electron to the lesion from FADH(-), upon photo-excitation of FADH(-) with 350-450 nm light. We compute the lowest singlet excited states of FADH(-) in DNA photolyase using INDO/S configuration interaction, time-dependent density-functional, and time-dependent Hartree-Fock methods. The calculations identify the lowest singlet excited state of FADH(-) that is populated after photo-excitation and that acts as the electron donor. For this donor state we compute conformationally-averaged tunneling matrix elements to empty electron- acceptor states of a thymine dimer bound to photolyase. The conformational averaging involves different FADH(-) - thymine dimer confromations obtained from molecular dynamics simulations of the solvated protein with a thymine dimer docked in its active site. The tunneling matrix element computations use INDO/S-level Green's function, energy splitting, and Generalized Mulliken-Hush methods. These calculations indicate that photo-excitation of FADH(-) causes a ? ? ?(*) charge-transfer transition that shifts electron density to the side of the flavin isoalloxazine ring that is adjacent to the docked thymine dimer. This shift in electron density enhances the FADH(-) - to - dimer electronic coupling, thus inducing rapid electron transfer.
Project description:Class II DNA photolyases are flavoenzymes occurring in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes including higher plants and animals. Despite considerable structural deviations from the well-studied class I DNA photolyases, they share the main biological function, namely light-driven repair of the most common UV-induced lesions in DNA, the cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs). For DNA repair activity, photolyases require the fully reduced flavin adenine dinucleotide cofactor, FADH-, which can be obtained from oxidized or semi-reduced FAD by a process called photoactivation. Using transient absorption spectroscopy, we have examined the initial electron and proton transfer reactions leading to photoactivation of the class II DNA photolyase from Methanosarcina mazei. Upon photoexcitation, FAD is reduced via a distinct (class II-specific) chain of three tryptophans, giving rise to an FAD?- TrpH?+ radical pair. The distal Trp388H?+ deprotonates to Trp388? in 350 ps, i.e., by three orders of magnitude faster than TrpH?+ in aqueous solution or in any previously studied photolyase. We identified a class II-specific cluster of protein-bound water molecules ideally positioned to serve as the primary proton acceptor. The high rate of Trp388H?+ deprotonation counters futile radical pair recombination and ensures efficient photoactivation.