Direct interaction of the bacteriophage SPP1 packaging ATPase with the portal protein.
ABSTRACT: DNA packaging in tailed bacteriophages and other viruses requires assembly of a complex molecular machine at a specific vertex of the procapsid. This machine is composed of the portal protein that provides a tunnel for DNA entry, an ATPase that fuels DNA translocation (large terminase subunit), and most frequently, a small terminase subunit. Here we characterized the interaction between the terminase ATPase subunit of bacteriophage SPP1 (gp2) and the procapsid portal vertex. We found, by affinity pulldown assays with purified proteins, that gp2 interacts with the portal protein, gp6, independently of the terminase small subunit gp1, DNA, or ATP. The gp2-procapsid interaction via the portal protein depends on gp2 concentration and requires the presence of divalent cations. Competition experiments showed that isolated gp6 can only inhibit gp2-procapsid interactions and DNA packaging at gp6:procapsid molar ratios above 10-fold. Assays with gp6 carrying mutations in distinct regions of its structure that affect the portal-induced stimulation of ATPase and DNA packaging revealed that none of these mutations impedes gp2-gp6 binding. Our results demonstrate that the SPP1 packaging ATPase binds directly to the portal and that the interaction is stronger with the portal embedded in procapsids. Identification of mutations in gp6 that allow for assembly of the ATPase-portal complex but impair DNA packaging support an intricate cross-talk between the two proteins for activity of the DNA translocation motor.
Project description:The large terminase subunit is a central component of the genome packaging motor from tailed bacteriophages and herpes viruses. This two-domain enzyme has an N-terminal ATPase activity that fuels DNA translocation during packaging and a C-terminal nuclease activity required for initiation and termination of the packaging cycle. Here, we report that bacteriophage SPP1 large terminase (gp2) is a metal-dependent nuclease whose stability and activity are strongly and preferentially enhanced by Mn(2+) ions. Mutation of conserved residues that coordinate Mn(2+) ions in the nuclease catalytic site affect the metal-induced gp2 stabilization and impair both gp2-specific cleavage at the packaging initiation site pac and unspecific nuclease activity. Several of these mutations block also DNA encapsidation without affecting ATP hydrolysis or gp2 C-terminus binding to the procapsid portal vertex. The data are consistent with a mechanism in which the nuclease domain bound to the portal switches between nuclease activity and a coordinated action with the ATPase domain for DNA translocation. This switch of activities of the nuclease domain is critical to achieve the viral chromosome packaging cycle.
Project description:Packaging of viral genomes inside empty procapsids is driven by a powerful ATP-hydrolyzing motor, formed in many double-stranded DNA viruses by a complex of a small terminase (S-terminase) subunit and a large terminase (L-terminase) subunit, transiently docked at the portal vertex during genome packaging. Despite recent progress in elucidating the structure of individual terminase subunits and their domains, little is known about the architecture of an assembled terminase complex. Here, we describe a bacterial co-expression system that yields milligram quantities of the S-terminase:L-terminase complex of the Salmonella phage P22. In vivo assembled terminase complex was affinity-purified and stabilized by addition of non-hydrolyzable ATP, which binds specifically to the ATPase domain of L-terminase. Mapping studies revealed that the N-terminus of L-terminase ATPase domain (residues 1-58) contains a minimal S-terminase binding domain sufficient for stoichiometric association with residues 140-162 of S-terminase, the L-terminase binding domain. Hydrodynamic analysis by analytical ultracentrifugation sedimentation velocity and native mass spectrometry revealed that the purified terminase complex consists predominantly of one copy of the nonameric S-terminase bound to two equivalents of L-terminase (1S-terminase:2L-terminase). Direct visualization of this molecular assembly in negative-stained micrographs yielded a three-dimensional asymmetric reconstruction that resembles a "nutcracker" with two L-terminase protomers projecting from the C-termini of an S-terminase ring. This is the first direct visualization of a purified viral terminase complex analyzed in the absence of DNA and procapsid.
Project description:In tailed bacteriophages and herpes viruses, the viral DNA is packaged through the portal protein channel. Channel closure is essential to prevent DNA release after packaging. Here we present the connector structure from bacteriophage SPP1 using cryo-electron microscopy and single particle analysis. The multiprotein complex comprises the portal protein gp6 and the head completion proteins gp15 and gp16. Although we show that gp6 in the connector has a fold similar to that of the isolated portal protein, we observe conformational changes in the region of gp6 exposed to the DNA-packaging ATPase and to gp15. This reorganization does not cause closure of the channel. The connector channel traverses the full height of gp6 and gp15, but it is closed by gp16 at the bottom of the complex. Gp16 acts as a valve whose closure prevents DNA leakage, while its opening is required for DNA release upon interaction of the virus with its host.
Project description:In herpesviruses and many bacterial viruses, genome-packaging is a precisely mediated process fulfilled by a virally encoded molecular machine called terminase that consists of two protein components: A DNA-recognition component that defines the specificity for packaged DNA, and a catalytic component that provides energy for the packaging reaction by hydrolyzing ATP. The terminase docks onto the portal protein complex embedded in a single vertex of a preformed viral protein shell called procapsid, and pumps the viral DNA into the procapsid through a conduit formed by the portal. Here we report the 1.65 A resolution structure of the DNA-recognition component gp1 of the Shigella bacteriophage Sf6 genome-packaging machine. The structure reveals a ring-like octamer formed by interweaved protein monomers with a highly extended fold, embracing a tunnel through which DNA may be translocated. The N-terminal DNA-binding domains form the peripheral appendages surrounding the octamer. The central domain contributes to oligomerization through interactions of bundled helices. The C-terminal domain forms a barrel with parallel beta-strands. The structure reveals a common scheme for oligomerization of terminase DNA-recognition components, and provides insights into the role of gp1 in formation of the packaging-competent terminase complex and assembly of the terminase with the portal, in which ring-like protein oligomers stack together to form a continuous channel for viral DNA translocation.
Project description:Conserved bacteriophage ATP-based DNA translocation motors consist of a multimeric packaging terminase docked onto a unique procapsid vertex containing a portal ring. DNA is translocated into the empty procapsid through the portal ring channel to high density. In vivo the T4 phage packaging motor deals with Y- or X-structures in the replicative concatemer substrate by employing a portal-bound Holliday junction resolvase that trims and releases these DNA roadblocks to packaging. Here using dye-labeled packaging anchored 3.7-kb Y-DNAs or linear DNAs, we demonstrate FRET between the dye-labeled substrates and GFP portal-containing procapsids and between GFP portal and single dye-labeled terminases. We show using FRET-fluorescence correlation spectroscopy that purified T4 gp49 endonuclease VII resolvase can release DNA compression in vitro in prohead portal packaging motor anchored and arrested Y-DNA substrates. In addition, using active terminases labeled at the N- and C-terminal ends with a single dye molecule, we show by FRET distance of the N-terminal GFP-labeled portal protein containing prohead at 6.9 nm from the N terminus and at 5.7 nm from the C terminus of the terminase. Packaging with a C-terminal fluorescent terminase on a GFP portal prohead, FRET shows a reduction in distance to the GFP portal of 0.6 nm in the arrested Y-DNA as compared with linear DNA; the reduction is reversed by resolvase treatment. Conformational changes in both the motor proteins and the DNA substrate itself that are associated with the power stroke of the motor are consistent with a proposed linear motor employing a terminal-to-portal DNA grip-and-release mechanism.
Project description:Tailed bacteriophages and herpesviruses assemble infectious particles via an empty precursor capsid (or 'procapsid') built by multiple copies of coat and scaffolding protein and by one dodecameric portal protein. Genome packaging triggers rearrangement of the coat protein and release of scaffolding protein, resulting in dramatic procapsid lattice expansion. Here, we provide structural evidence that the portal protein of the bacteriophage P22 exists in two distinct dodecameric conformations: an asymmetric assembly in the procapsid (PC-portal) that is competent for high affinity binding to the large terminase packaging protein, and a symmetric ring in the mature virion (MV-portal) that has negligible affinity for the packaging motor. Modelling studies indicate the structure of PC-portal is incompatible with DNA coaxially spooled around the portal vertex, suggesting that newly packaged DNA triggers the switch from PC- to MV-conformation. Thus, we propose the signal for termination of 'Headful Packaging' is a DNA-dependent symmetrization of portal protein.
Project description:Packaging of viral genomes into empty procapsids is powered by a large DNA-packaging motor. In most viruses, this machine is composed of a large (L) and a small (S) terminase subunit complexed with a dodecamer of portal protein. Here we describe the 1.75 Å crystal structure of the bacteriophage P22 S-terminase in a nonameric conformation. The structure presents a central channel ?23 Å in diameter, sufficiently large to accommodate hydrated B-DNA. The last 23 residues of S-terminase are essential for binding to DNA and assembly to L-terminase. Upon binding to its own DNA, S-terminase functions as a specific activator of L-terminase ATPase activity. The DNA-dependent stimulation of ATPase activity thus rationalizes the exclusive specificity of genome-packaging motors for viral DNA in the crowd of host DNA, ensuring fidelity of packaging and avoiding wasteful ATP hydrolysis. This posits a model for DNA-dependent activation of genome-packaging motors of general interest in virology.
Project description:Morphogenesis of bacteriophage P22 involves the packaging of double-stranded DNA into a preassembled procapsid. DNA is translocated by a powerful virally encoded molecular motor called terminase, which comprises large (gp2, 499 residues) and small (gp3, 162 residues) subunits. While gp2 contains the phosphohydrolase and endonuclease activities of terminase, the function of gp3 may be to regulate specific and nonspecific modes of DNA recognition as well as the enzymatic activities of gp2. Electron microscopy shows that wild-type gp3 self-assembles into a stable and monodisperse nonameric ring. A three-dimensional reconstruction at 18 A resolution provides the first glimpse of P22 terminase architecture and implies two distinct modes of interaction with DNA-involving a central channel of 20 A diameter and radial spikes separated by 34 A. Electromobility shift assays indicate that the gp3 ring binds double-stranded DNA nonspecifically in vitro via electrostatic interactions between the positively charged C-terminus of gp3 (residues 143-152) and phosphates of the DNA backbone. Raman spectra show that nonameric rings formed by subunits truncated at residue 142 retain the subunit fold despite the loss of DNA-binding activity. Difference density maps between gp3 rings containing full-length and C-terminally truncated subunits are consistent with localization of residues 143-152 along the central channel of the nonameric ring. The results suggest a plausible molecular mechanism for gp3 function in DNA recognition and translocation.
Project description:Bacteriophage ATP-based packaging motors translocate DNA into a pre-formed prohead through a dodecameric portal ring channel to high density. We investigated portal-terminase docking interactions at specifically localized residues within a terminase-interaction region (aa279-316) in the phage T4 portal protein gp20 equated to the clip domain of the SPP1 portal crystal structure by 3D modeling. Within this region, three residues allowed A to C mutations whereas three others did not, consistent with informatics analyses showing the tolerated residues are not strongly conserved evolutionarily. About 7.5nm was calculated by FCS-FRET studies employing maleimide Alexa488 dye labeled A316C proheads and gp17 CT-ReAsH supporting previous work docking the C-terminal end of the T4 terminase (gp17) closer to the N-terminal GFP-labeled portal (gp20) than the N-terminal end of the terminase. Such a terminase-portal orientation fits better to a proposed "DNA crunching" compression packaging motor and to portal determined DNA headful cutting.
Project description:Packaging of viral genomes into preformed procapsids requires the controlled and synchronized activity of an ATPase and a genome-processing nuclease, both located in the large terminase (L-terminase) subunit. In this paper, we have characterized the structure and regulation of bacteriophage P22 L-terminase (gp2). Limited proteolysis reveals a bipartite organization consisting of an N-terminal ATPase core flexibly connected to a C-terminal nuclease domain. The 2.02 Å crystal structure of P22 headful nuclease obtained by in-drop proteolysis of full-length L-terminase (FL-L-terminase) reveals a central seven-stranded ?-sheet core that harbors two magnesium ions. Modeling studies with DNA suggest that the two ions are poised for two-metal ion-dependent catalysis, but the nuclease DNA binding surface is sterically hindered by a loop-helix (L(1)-?(2)) motif, which is incompatible with catalysis. Accordingly, the isolated nuclease is completely inactive in vitro, whereas it exhibits endonucleolytic activity in the context of FL-L-terminase. Deleting the autoinhibitory L(1)-?(2) motif (or just the loop L(1)) restores nuclease activity to a level comparable with FL-L-terminase. Together, these results suggest that the activity of P22 headful nuclease is regulated by intramolecular cross-talk with the N-terminal ATPase domain. This cross-talk allows for precise and controlled cleavage of DNA that is essential for genome packaging.