SSB protein diffusion on single-stranded DNA stimulates RecA filament formation.
ABSTRACT: Single-stranded DNA generated in the cell during DNA metabolism is stabilized and protected by binding of ssDNA-binding (SSB) proteins. Escherichia coli SSB, a representative homotetrameric SSB, binds to ssDNA by wrapping the DNA using its four subunits. However, such a tightly wrapped, high-affinity protein-DNA complex still needs to be removed or repositioned quickly for unhindered action of other proteins. Here we show, using single-molecule two- and three-colour fluorescence resonance energy transfer, that tetrameric SSB can spontaneously migrate along ssDNA. Diffusional migration of SSB helps in the local displacement of SSB by an elongating RecA filament. SSB diffusion also melts short DNA hairpins transiently and stimulates RecA filament elongation on DNA with secondary structure. This observation of diffusional movement of a protein on ssDNA introduces a new model for how an SSB protein can be redistributed, while remaining tightly bound to ssDNA during recombination and repair processes.
Project description:E. coli RecA recombinase catalyzes the homology pairing and strand exchange reactions in homologous recombinational repair. RecA must compete with single-stranded DNA binding proteins (SSB) for single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) substrates to form RecA nucleoprotein filaments, as the first step of this repair process. It has been suggested that RecA filaments assemble mainly by binding and extending onto the free ssDNA region not covered by SSB, or are assisted by mediators. Using the tethered particle motion (TPM) technique, we monitored individual RecA filament assembly on SSB-wrapped ssDNA in real-time. Nucleation times of the RecA E38K nucleoprotein filament assembly showed no apparent dependence among DNA substrates with various ssDNA gap lengths (from 60 to 100 nucleotides) wrapped by one SSB in the (SSB)65 binding mode. Our data have shown an unexpected RecA filament assembly mechanism in which a RecA-SSB-ssDNA interaction exists. Four additional pieces of evidence support our claim: the nucleation times of the RecA assembly varied (1) when DNA substrates contained different numbers of bound SSB tetramers; (2) when the SSB wrapping mode conversion is induced; (3) when SSB C-terminus truncation mutants are used; and (4) when an excess of C-terminal peptide of SSB is present. Thus, a RecA-SSB interaction should be included in discussing RecA regulatory mechanism.
Project description:Escherichia coli RecA is the defining member of a ubiquitous class of DNA strand-exchange proteins that are essential for homologous recombination, a pathway that maintains genomic integrity by repairing broken DNA. To function, filaments of RecA must nucleate and grow on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) in direct competition with ssDNA-binding protein (SSB), which rapidly binds and continuously sequesters ssDNA, kinetically blocking RecA assembly. This dynamic self-assembly on a DNA lattice, in competition with another protein, is unique for the RecA family compared to other filament-forming proteins such as actin and tubulin. The complexity of this process has hindered our understanding of RecA filament assembly because ensemble measurements cannot reliably distinguish between the nucleation and growth phases, despite extensive and diverse attempts. Previous single-molecule assays have measured the nucleation and growth of RecA--and its eukaryotic homologue RAD51--on naked double-stranded DNA and ssDNA; however, the template for RecA self-assembly in vivo is SSB-coated ssDNA. Using single-molecule microscopy, here we directly visualize RecA filament assembly on single molecules of SSB-coated ssDNA, simultaneously measuring nucleation and growth. We establish that a dimer of RecA is required for nucleation, followed by growth of the filament through monomer addition, consistent with the finding that nucleation, but not growth, is modulated by nucleotide and magnesium ion cofactors. Filament growth is bidirectional, albeit faster in the 5'?3' direction. Both nucleation and growth are repressed at physiological conditions, highlighting the essential role of recombination mediators in potentiating assembly in vivo. We define a two-step kinetic mechanism in which RecA nucleates on transiently exposed ssDNA during SSB sliding and/or partial dissociation (DNA unwrapping) and then the RecA filament grows. We further demonstrate that the recombination mediator protein pair, RecOR (RecO and RecR), accelerates both RecA nucleation and filament growth, and that the introduction of RecF further stimulates RecA nucleation.
Project description:Displacement of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-binding protein (SSB) from ssDNA is necessary for filament formation of RecA on ssDNA to initiate homologous recombination. The interaction between RecO and SSB is considered to be important for SSB displacement; however, the interaction has not been characterized at the atomic level. In this study, to clarify the mechanism underlying SSB displacement from ssDNA upon RecO binding, we examined the interaction between Thermus thermophilus RecO and cognate SSB by NMR analysis. We found that SSB interacts with the C-terminal positively charged region of RecO. Based on this result, we constructed some RecO mutants. The R127A mutant had considerably decreased binding affinity for SSB and could not anneal SSB-coated ssDNAs. Further, the mutant in the RecOR complex prevented the recovery of ssDNA-dependent ATPase activity of RecA from inhibition by SSB. These results indicated that the region surrounding Arg-127 is the binding site of SSB. We also performed NMR analysis using the C-terminal peptide of SSB and found that the acidic region of SSB is involved in the interaction with RecO, as seen in other protein-SSB interactions. Taken together with the findings of previous studies, we propose a model for SSB displacement from ssDNA where the acidic C-terminal region of SSB weakens the ssDNA binding affinity of SSB when the dynamics of the C-terminal region are suppressed by interactions with other proteins, including RecO.
Project description:In Escherichia coli, the filament of RecA formed on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) is essential for recombinational DNA repair. Although ssDNA-binding protein (SSB) plays a complicated role in RecA reactions in vivo, much of our understanding of the mechanism is based on RecA binding directly to ssDNA. Here we investigate the role of SSB in the regulation of RecA polymerization on ssDNA, based on the differential force responses of a single 576-nucleotide-long ssDNA associated with RecA and SSB. We find that SSB outcompetes higher concentrations of RecA, resulting in inhibition of RecA nucleation. In addition, we find that pre-formed RecA filaments de-polymerize at low force in an ATP hydrolysis- and SSB-dependent manner. At higher forces, re-polymerization takes place, which displaces SSB from ssDNA. These findings provide a physical picture of the competition between RecA and SSB under tension on the scale of the entire nucleoprotein SSB array, which have broad biological implications particularly with regard to competitive molecular binding.
Project description:The Bacillus subtilis RecU protein is able to catalyze in vitro DNA strand annealing and Holliday-junction resolution. The interaction between the RecA and RecU proteins, in the presence or absence of a single-stranded binding (SSB) protein, was studied. Substoichiometric amounts of RecU enhanced RecA loading onto single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and stimulated RecA-catalyzed D-loop formation. However, RecU inhibited the RecA-mediated three-strand exchange reaction and ssDNA-dependent dATP or rATP hydrolysis. The addition of an SSB protein did not reverse the negative effect exerted by RecU on RecA function. Annealing of circular ssDNA and homologous linear 3'-tailed double-stranded DNA by RecU was not affected by the addition of RecA both in the presence and in the absence of SSB. We propose that RecU modulates RecA activities by promoting RecA-catalyzed strand invasion and inhibiting RecA-mediated branch migration, by preventing RecA filament disassembly, and suggest a potential mechanism for the control of resolvasome assembly.
Project description:The bacterial RecA protein plays a role in the complex system of DNA damage repair. Here, we report the functional and structural characterization of the Herbaspirillum seropedicae RecA protein (HsRecA). HsRecA protein is more efficient at displacing SSB protein from ssDNA than Escherichia coli RecA protein. HsRecA also promotes DNA strand exchange more efficiently. The three dimensional structure of HsRecA-ADP/ATP complex has been solved to 1.7 Å resolution. HsRecA protein contains a small N-terminal domain, a central core ATPase domain and a large C-terminal domain, that are similar to homologous bacterial RecA proteins. Comparative structural analysis showed that the N-terminal polymerization motif of archaeal and eukaryotic RecA family proteins are also present in bacterial RecAs. Reconstruction of electrostatic potential from the hexameric structure of HsRecA-ADP/ATP revealed a high positive charge along the inner side, where ssDNA is bound inside the filament. The properties of this surface may explain the greater capacity of HsRecA protein to bind ssDNA, forming a contiguous nucleoprotein filament, displace SSB and promote DNA exchange relative to EcRecA. Our functional and structural analyses provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of polymerization of bacterial RecA as a helical nucleoprotein filament.
Project description:The tetrameric Escherichia coli single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding protein (Ec-SSB) functions in DNA metabolism by binding to ssDNA and interacting directly with numerous DNA repair and replication proteins. Ec-SSB tetramers can bind ssDNA in multiple DNA binding modes that differ in the extent of ssDNA wrapping. Here, we show that the structurally similar SSB protein from the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum (Pf-SSB) also binds tightly to ssDNA but does not display the same number of ssDNA binding modes as Ec-SSB, binding ssDNA exclusively in fully wrapped complexes with site sizes of 52-65 nt/tetramer. Pf-SSB does not transition to the more cooperative (SSB)(35) DNA binding mode observed for Ec-SSB. Consistent with this, Pf-SSB tetramers also do not display the dramatic intra-tetramer negative cooperativity for binding of a second (dT)(35) molecule that is evident in Ec-SSB. These findings highlight variations in the DNA binding properties of these two highly conserved homotetrameric SSB proteins, and these differences might be tailored to suit their specific functions in the cell.
Project description:During DNA replication, the single-stranded DNA binding protein (SSB) wraps single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) with high affinity to protect it from degradation and prevent secondary structure formation. Although SSB binds ssDNA tightly, it can be repositioned along ssDNA to follow the advancement of the replication fork. Using all-atom molecular dynamics simulations, we characterized the molecular mechanism of ssDNA association with SSB. Placed in solution, ssDNA-SSB assemblies were observed to change their structure spontaneously; such structural changes were suppressed in the crystallographic environment. Repeat simulations of the SSB-ssDNA complex under mechanical tension revealed a multitude of possible pathways for ssDNA to come off SSB punctuated by prolonged arrests at reproducible sites at the SSB surface. Ensemble simulations of spontaneous association of short ssDNA fragments with SSB detailed a three-dimensional map of local affinity to DNA; the equilibrium amount of ssDNA bound to SSB was found to depend on the electrolyte concentration but not on the presence of the acidic tips of the SSB tails. Spontaneous formation of ssDNA bulges and their diffusive motion along SSB surface was directly observed in multiple 10-µs-long simulations. Such reptation-like motion was confined by DNA binding to high-affinity spots, suggesting a two-step mechanism for SSB diffusion.
Project description:Genome replication induces the generation of large stretches of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) intermediates that are rapidly protected by single-stranded DNA-binding (SSB) proteins. To date, the mechanism by which tightly bound SSBs are removed from ssDNA by the lagging strand DNA polymerase without compromising the advance of the replication fork remains unresolved. Here, we aimed to address this question by measuring, with optical tweezers, the real-time replication kinetics of the human mitochondrial and bacteriophage T7 DNA polymerases on free-ssDNA, in comparison with ssDNA covered with homologous and non-homologous SSBs under mechanical tension. We find important differences between the force dependencies of the instantaneous replication rates of each polymerase on different substrates. Modeling of the data supports a mechanism in which strong, specific polymerase-SSB interactions, up to ∼12 kBT, are required for the polymerase to dislodge SSB from the template without compromising its instantaneous replication rate, even under stress conditions that may affect SSB-DNA organization and/or polymerase-SSB communication. Upon interaction, the elimination of template secondary structure by SSB binding facilitates the maximum replication rate of the lagging strand polymerase. In contrast, in the absence of polymerase-SSB interactions, SSB poses an effective barrier for the advance of the polymerase, slowing down DNA synthesis.
Project description:The Escherichia coli single stranded DNA binding protein (SSB) is crucial for DNA replication, recombination and repair. Within each process, it has two seemingly disparate roles: it stabilizes single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) intermediates generated during DNA processing and, forms complexes with a group of proteins known as the SSB-interactome. Key to both roles is the C-terminal, one-third of the protein, in particular the intrinsically disordered linker (IDL). Previously, they have shown using a series of linker deletion mutants that the IDL links both ssDNA and target protein binding by mediating interactions with the oligosaccharide/oligonucleotide binding fold in the target. In this study, they examine the role of the linker region in SSB function in a variety of DNA metabolic processes in vitro. Using the same linker mutants, the results show that in addition to association reactions (either DNA or protein), the IDL is critical for the release of SSB from DNA. This release can be under conditions of ssDNA competition or active displacement by a DNA helicase or recombinase. Consistent with their previous work these results indicate that SSB linker mutants are defective for SSB-SSB interactions, and when the IDL is removed a terminal SSB-DNA complex results. Formation of this complex inhibits downstream processing of DNA by helicases such as RecG or PriA as well as recombination, mediated by RecA. A model, based on the evidence herein, is presented to explain how the IDL acts in SSB function.