Crystal structure of the Holliday junction migration motor protein RuvB from Thermus thermophilus HB8.
ABSTRACT: We report here the crystal structure of the RuvB motor protein from Thermus thermophilus HB8, which drives branch migration of the Holliday junction during homologous recombination. RuvB has a crescent-like architecture consisting of three consecutive domains, the first two of which are involved in ATP binding and hydrolysis. DNA is likely to interact with a large basic cleft, which encompasses the ATP-binding pocket and domain boundaries, whereas the junction-recognition protein RuvA may bind a flexible beta-hairpin protruding from the N-terminal domain. The structures of two subunits, related by a noncrystallographic pseudo-2-fold axis, imply that conformational changes of motor protein coupled with ATP hydrolysis may reflect motility essential for its translocation around double-stranded DNA.
Project description:The Escherichia coli RuvB hexameric ring motor proteins, together with RuvAs, promote branch migration of Holliday junction DNA. Zero mode waveguides (ZMWs) constitute of nanosized holes and enable the visualization of a single fluorescent molecule under micromolar order of the molecules, which is applicable to characterize the formation of RuvA-RuvB-Holliday junction DNA complex. In this study, we used ZMWs and counted the number of RuvBs binding to RuvA-Holliday junction DNA complex. Our data demonstrated that different nucleotide analogs increased the amount of Cy5-RuvBs binding to RuvA-Holliday junction DNA complex in the following order: no nucleotide, ADP, ATP?S, and mixture of ADP and ATP?S. These results suggest that not only ATP binding to RuvB but also ATP hydrolysis by RuvB facilitates a stable RuvA-RuvB-Holliday junction DNA complex formation.
Project description:The Escherichia coli RuvA-RuvB complex promotes branch migration of Holliday junction DNA, which is the central intermediate of homologous recombination. Like many DNA motor proteins, it is suggested that RuvA-RuvB promotes branch migration by driving helical rotation of the DNA. To clarify the RuvA-RuvB-mediated branch migration mechanism in more detail, we observed DNA rotation during Holliday junction branch migration by attaching a bead to one end of cruciform DNA that was fixed to a glass surface at the opposite end. Bead rotation was observed when RuvA, RuvB, and ATP were added to the solution. We measured the rotational rates of the beads caused by RuvA-RuvB-mediated branch migration at various ATP concentrations. The data provided a K(m) value of 65 microM and a V(max) value of 1.6 revolutions per second, which corresponds to 8.3 bp per second. This real-time observation of the DNA rotation not only allows us to measure the kinetics of the RuvA-RuvB-mediated branch migration, but also opens the possibility of elucidating the branch migration mechanism in detail.
Project description:In the major pathway of homologous DNA recombination in prokaryotic cells, the Holliday junction intermediate is processed through its association with RuvA, RuvB, and RuvC proteins. Specific binding of the RuvA tetramer to the Holliday junction is required for the RuvB motor protein to be loaded onto the junction DNA, and the RuvAB complex drives the ATP-dependent branch migration. We solved the crystal structure of the Holliday junction bound to a single Escherichia coli RuvA tetramer at 3.1-A resolution. In this complex, one side of DNA is accessible for cleavage by RuvC resolvase at the junction center. The refined junction DNA structure revealed an open concave architecture with a four-fold symmetry. Each arm, with B-form DNA, in the Holliday junction is predominantly recognized in the minor groove through hydrogen bonds with two repeated helix-hairpin-helix motifs of each RuvA subunit. The local conformation near the crossover point, where two base pairs are disrupted, suggests a possible scheme for successive base pair rearrangements, which may account for smooth Holliday junction movement without segmental unwinding.
Project description:The RuvABC proteins of Escherichia coli process recombination intermediates during genetic recombination and DNA repair. RuvA and RuvB promote branch migration of Holliday junctions, a process that extends heteroduplex DNA. Together with RuvC, they form a RuvABC complex capable of Holliday junction resolution. Branch migration by RuvAB is mediated by RuvB, a hexameric ring protein that acts as an ATP-driven molecular pump. To gain insight into the mechanism of branch migration, random mutations were introduced into the ruvB gene by PCR and a collection of mutant alleles were obtained. Mutation of leucine 268 to serine resulted in a severe UV-sensitive phenotype, characteristic of a ruv defect. Here, we report a biochemical analysis of the mutant protein RuvBL268S. Unexpectedly, the purified protein is fully active in vitro with regard to its ATPase, DNA binding and DNA unwinding activities. It also promotes efficient branch migration in combination with RuvA, and forms functional RuvABC-Holliday junction resolvase complexes. These results indicate that RuvB may perform some additional, and as yet undefined, function that is necessary for cell survival after UV-irradiation.
Project description:Homologous recombination between repeated DNA elements in the genomes of Mycoplasma species has been hypothesized to be a crucial causal factor in sequence variation of antigenic proteins at the bacterial surface. To investigate this notion, studies were initiated to identify and characterize the proteins that form part of the homologous DNA recombination machinery in Mycoplasma pneumoniae as well as Mycoplasma genitalium. Among the most likely participants of this machinery are homologs of the Holliday junction migration motor protein RuvB. In both M. pneumoniae and M. genitalium, genes have been identified that have the capacity to encode RuvB homologs (MPN536 and MG359, respectively). Here, the characteristics of the MPN536- and MG359-encoded proteins (the RuvB proteins from M. pneumoniae strain FH [RuvB(FH)] and M. genitalium [RuvB(Mge)], respectively) are described. Both RuvB(FH) and RuvB(Mge) were found to have ATPase activity and to bind DNA. In addition, both proteins displayed divalent cation- and ATP-dependent DNA helicase activity on partially double-stranded DNA substrates. The helicase activity of RuvB(Mge), however, was significantly lower than that of RuvB(FH). Interestingly, we found RuvB(FH) to be expressed exclusively by subtype 2 strains of M. pneumoniae. In strains belonging to the other major subtype (subtype 1), a version of the protein is expressed (the RuvB protein from M. pneumoniae strain M129 [RuvB(M129)]) that differs from RuvB(FH) in a single amino acid residue (at position 140). In contrast to RuvB(FH), RuvB(M129) displayed only marginal levels of DNA-unwinding activity. These results demonstrate that M. pneumoniae strains (as well as closely related Mycoplasma spp.) can differ significantly in the function of components of their DNA recombination and repair machinery.
Project description:The ruvB genes of the highly divergent thermophilic eubacteria Thermus thermophilus and Thermotoga maritima were cloned, sequenced, and expressed in Escherichia coli. Both thermostable RuvB proteins were purified to homogeneity. Like E. coli RuvB protein, both purified thermostable RuvB proteins showed strong double-stranded DNA-dependent ATPase activity at their temperature optima (> or = 70 degrees C). In the absence of ATP, T. thermophilus RuvB protein bound to linear double-stranded DNA with a preference for the ends. Addition of ATP or gamma-S-ATP destabilized the T. thermophilus RuvB-DNA complexes. Both thermostable RuvB proteins displayed helicase activity on supercoiled DNA. Expression of thermostable T. thermophilus RuvB protein in the E. coli ruvB recG mutant strain N3395 partially complemented the UV-sensitive phenotype, suggesting that T. thermophilus RuvB protein has a function similar to that of E. coli RuvB in vivo.
Project description:The DNA recombination and repair machineries of Mycoplasma genitalium and Mycoplasma pneumoniae differ considerably from those of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Most notably, M. pneumoniae is unable to express a functional RecU Holliday junction (HJ) resolvase. In addition, the RuvB homologues from both M. pneumoniae and M. genitalium only exhibit DNA helicase activity but not HJ branch migration activity in vitro. To identify a putative role of the RuvA homologues of these mycoplasmas in DNA recombination, both proteins (RuvA(Mpn) and RuvA(Mge), respectively) were studied for their ability to bind DNA and to interact with RuvB and RecU. In spite of a high level of sequence conservation between RuvA(Mpn) and RuvA(Mge) (68.8% identity), substantial differences were found between these proteins in their activities. First, RuvA(Mge) was found to preferentially bind to HJs, whereas RuvA(Mpn) displayed similar affinities for both HJs and single-stranded DNA. Second, while RuvA(Mpn) is able to form two distinct complexes with HJs, RuvA(Mge) only produced a single HJ complex. Third, RuvA(Mge) stimulated the DNA helicase and ATPase activities of RuvB(Mge), whereas RuvA(Mpn) did not augment RuvB activity. Finally, while both RuvA(Mge) and RecU(Mge) efficiently bind to HJs, they did not compete with each other for HJ binding, but formed stable complexes with HJs over a wide protein concentration range. This interaction, however, resulted in inhibition of the HJ resolution activity of RecU(Mge).
Project description:Initially discovered in Escherichia coli, RuvAB proteins are ubiquitous in bacteria and play a dual role as molecular motor proteins responsible for branch migration of the Holliday junction(s) and reversal of stalled replication forks. Despite mounting genetic evidence for a crucial role of RuvA and RuvB proteins in reversal of stalled replication forks, the mechanistic aspects of this process are still not fully understood. Here, we elucidate the ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis RuvAB (MtRuvAB) complex to catalyze the reversal of replication forks using a range of DNA replication fork substrates. Our studies show that MtRuvAB, unlike E. coli RuvAB, is able to drive replication fork reversal via the formation of Holliday junction intermediates, suggesting that RuvAB-catalyzed fork reversal involves concerted unwinding and annealing of nascent leading and lagging strands. We also demonstrate the reversal of replication forks carrying hemi-replicated DNA, indicating that MtRuvAB complex-catalyzed fork reversal is independent of symmetry at the fork junction. The fork reversal reaction catalyzed by MtRuvAB is coupled to ATP hydrolysis, is processive, and culminates in the formation of an extended reverse DNA arm. Notably, we found that sequence heterology failed to impede the fork reversal activity of MtRuvAB. We discuss the implications of these results in the context of recognition and processing of varied types of replication fork structures by RuvAB proteins.
Project description:Antigenic variation plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of many infectious bacteria and protozoa including Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. VlsE, a 35 kDa surface-exposed lipoprotein, undergoes antigenic variation during B. burgdorferi infection of mammalian hosts, and is believed to be a critical mechanism by which the spirochetes evade immune clearance. Random, segmental recombination between the expressed vlsE gene and adjacent vls silent cassettes generates a large number of different VlsE variants within the infected host. Although the occurrence and importance of vlsE sequence variation is well established, little is known about the biological mechanism of vlsE recombination. To identify factors important in antigenic variation and vlsE recombination, we screened transposon mutants of genes known to be involved in DNA recombination and repair for their effects on infectivity and vlsE recombination. Several mutants, including those in BB0023 (ruvA), BB0022 (ruvB), BB0797 (mutS), and BB0098 (mutS-II), showed reduced infectivity in immunocompetent C3H/HeN mice. Mutants in ruvA and ruvB exhibited greatly reduced rates of vlsE recombination in C3H/HeN mice, as determined by restriction fragment polymorphism (RFLP) screening and DNA sequence analysis. In severe combined immunodeficiency (C3H/scid) mice, the ruvA mutant retained full infectivity; however, all recovered clones retained the 'parental' vlsE sequence, consistent with low rates of vlsE recombination. These results suggest that the reduced infectivity of ruvA and ruvB mutants is the result of ineffective vlsE recombination and underscores the important role that vlsE recombination plays in immune evasion. Based on functional studies in other organisms, the RuvAB complex of B. burgdorferi may promote branch migration of Holliday junctions during vlsE recombination. Our findings are consistent with those in the accompanying article by Dresser et al., and together these studies provide the first examples of trans-acting factors involved in vlsE recombination.
Project description:Mycoplasma genitalium is an emerging sexually transmitted pathogen associated with reproductive tract disease in men and women, and it can persist for months to years despite the development of a robust antibody response. Mechanisms that may contribute to persistence in vivo include phase and antigenic variation of the MgpB and MgpC adhesins. These processes occur by segmental recombination between discrete variable regions within mgpB and mgpC and multiple archived donor sequences termed MgPa repeats (MgPars). The molecular factors governing mgpB and mgpC variation are poorly understood and obscured by the paucity of recombination genes conserved in the M. genitalium genome. Recently, we demonstrated the requirement for RecA using a quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay developed to measure recombination between the mgpB and mgpC genes and MgPars. Here, we expand these studies by examining the roles of M. genitalium ruvA and ruvB homologs. Deletion of ruvA and ruvB impaired the ability to generate mgpB and mgpC phase and sequence variants, and these deficiencies could be complemented with wild-type copies, including the ruvA gene from Mycoplasma pneumoniae. In contrast, ruvA and ruvB deletions did not affect the sensitivity to UV irradiation, reinforcing our previous findings that the recombinational repair pathway plays a minor role in M. genitalium. Reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and primer extension analyses also revealed a complex transcriptional organization of the RuvAB system of M. genitalium, which is cotranscribed with two novel open reading frames (ORFs) (termed ORF1 and ORF2 herein) conserved only in M. pneumoniae. These findings suggest that these novel ORFs may play a role in recombination in these two closely related bacteria.