Recognition of an expanded genetic alphabet by type-II restriction endonucleases and their application to analyze polymerase fidelity.
ABSTRACT: To explore the possibility of using restriction enzymes in a synthetic biology based on artificially expanded genetic information systems (AEGIS), 24 type-II restriction endonucleases (REases) were challenged to digest DNA duplexes containing recognition sites where individual Cs and Gs were replaced by the AEGIS nucleotides Z and P [respectively, 6-amino-5-nitro-3-(1'-β-D-2'-deoxyribofuranosyl)-2(1H)-pyridone and 2-amino-8-(1'-β-D-2'-deoxyribofuranosyl)-imidazo[1,2-a]-1,3,5-triazin-4(8H)-one]. These AEGIS nucleotides implement complementary hydrogen bond donor-donor-acceptor and acceptor-acceptor-donor patterns. Results allowed us to classify type-II REases into five groups based on their performance, and to infer some specifics of their interactions with functional groups in the major and minor grooves of the target DNA. For three enzymes among these 24 where crystal structures are available (BcnI, EcoO109I and NotI), these interactions were modeled. Further, we applied a type-II REase to quantitate the fidelity polymerases challenged to maintain in a DNA duplex C:G, T:A and Z:P pairs through repetitive PCR cycles. This work thus adds tools that are able to manipulate this expanded genetic alphabet in vitro, provides some structural insights into the working of restriction enzymes, and offers some preliminary data needed to take the next step in synthetic biology to use an artificial genetic system inside of living bacterial cells.
Project description:To support efforts to develop a 'synthetic biology' based on an artificially expanded genetic information system (AEGIS), we have developed a route to two components of a non-standard nucleobase pair, the pyrimidine analog 6-amino-5-nitro-3-(1'-beta-D-2'-deoxyribofuranosyl)-2(1H)-pyridone (dZ) and its Watson-Crick complement, the purine analog 2-amino-8-(1'-beta-D-2'-deoxyribofuranosyl)-imidazo[1,2-a]-1,3,5-triazin-4(8H)-one (dP). These implement the pyDDA:puAAD hydrogen bonding pattern (where 'py' indicates a pyrimidine analog and 'pu' indicates a purine analog, while A and D indicate the hydrogen bonding patterns of acceptor and donor groups presented to the complementary nucleobases, from the major to the minor groove). Also described is the synthesis of the triphosphates and protected phosphoramidites of these two nucleosides. We also describe the use of the protected phosphoramidites to synthesize DNA oligonucleotides containing these AEGIS components, verify the absence of epimerization of dZ in those oligonucleotides, and report some hybridization properties of the dZ:dP nucleobase pair, which is rather strong, and the ability of each to effectively discriminate against mismatches in short duplex DNA.
Project description:Type I restriction enzymes (REases) are large pentameric proteins with separate restriction (R), methylation (M) and DNA sequence-recognition (S) subunits. They were the first REases to be discovered and purified, but unlike the enormously useful Type II REases, they have yet to find a place in the enzymatic toolbox of molecular biologists. Type I enzymes have been difficult to characterize, but this is changing as genome analysis reveals their genes, and methylome analysis reveals their recognition sequences. Several Type I REases have been studied in detail and what has been learned about them invites greater attention. In this article, we discuss aspects of the biochemistry, biology and regulation of Type I REases, and of the mechanisms that bacteriophages and plasmids have evolved to evade them. Type I REases have a remarkable ability to change sequence specificity by domain shuffling and rearrangements. We summarize the classic experiments and observations that led to this discovery, and we discuss how this ability depends on the modular organizations of the enzymes and of their S subunits. Finally, we describe examples of Type II restriction-modification systems that have features in common with Type I enzymes, with emphasis on the varied Type IIG enzymes.
Project description:Unlike orthodox Type II restriction endonucleases that are homodimers and interact with the palindromic 4-8-bp DNA sequences, BcnI is a monomer which has a single active site but cuts both DNA strands within the 5'-CC↓CGG-3'/3'-GGG↓CC-5' target site ('↓' designates the cleavage position). Therefore, after cutting the first strand, the BcnI monomer must re-bind to the target site in the opposite orientation; but in this case, it runs into a different central base because of the broken symmetry of the recognition site. Crystal-structure analysis shows that to accept both the C:G and G:C base pairs at the center of its target site, BcnI employs two symmetrically positioned histidines H77 and H219 that presumably change their protonation state depending on the binding mode. We show here that a single mutation of BcnI H77 or H219 residues restricts the cleavage activity of the enzyme to either the 5'-CCCGG-3' or the 5'-CCGGG-3' strand, thereby converting BcnI into a strand-specific nicking endonuclease. This is a novel approach for engineering of monomeric restriction enzymes into strand-specific nucleases.
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:Type II restriction endonucleases (REases) cleave double-stranded DNA at specific sites within or close to their recognition sequences. Shortly after their discovery in 1970, REases have become one of the primary tools in molecular biology. However, the list of available specificities of type II REases is relatively short despite the extensive search for them in natural sources and multiple attempts to artificially change their specificity. In this study, we examined the possibility of generating cleavage specificities of REases by swapping putative target recognition domains (TRDs) between the type IIB enzymes AloI, PpiI, and TstI. Our results demonstrate that individual TRDs recognize distinct parts of the bipartite DNA targets of these enzymes and are interchangeable. Based on these properties, we engineered a functional type IIB REase having previously undescribed DNA specificity. Our study suggests that the TRD-swapping approach may be used as a general technique for the generation of type II enzymes with predetermined specificities.
Project description:Artificially expanded genetic information systems (AEGISs) are unnatural forms of DNA that increase the number of independently replicating nucleotide building blocks. To do this, AEGIS pairs are joined by different arrangements of hydrogen bond donor and acceptor groups, all while retaining their Watson-Crick geometries. We report here a unique case where AEGIS DNA has been used to execute a systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) experiment. This AEGIS-SELEX was designed to create AEGIS oligonucleotides that bind to a line of breast cancer cells. AEGIS-SELEX delivered an AEGIS aptamer (ZAP-2012) built from six different kinds of nucleotides (the standard G, A, C, and T, and the AEGIS nonstandard P and Z nucleotides, the last having a nitro functionality not found in standard DNA). ZAP-2012 has a dissociation constant of 30 nM against these cells. The affinity is diminished or lost when Z or P (or both) is replaced by standard nucleotides and compares well with affinities of standard GACT aptamers selected against cell lines using standard SELEX. The success of AEGIS-SELEX relies on various innovations, including (i) the ability to synthesize GACTZP libraries, (ii) polymerases that PCR amplify GACTZP DNA with little loss of the AEGIS nonstandard nucleotides, and (iii) technologies to deep sequence GACTZP DNA survivors. These results take the next step toward expanding the power and utility of SELEX and offer an AEGIS-SELEX that could possibly generate receptors, ligands, and catalysts having sequence diversities nearer to that displayed by proteins.
Project description:Restriction endonucleases (REases) are DNA-cleaving enzymes that have become indispensable tools in molecular biology. Type II REases are highly divergent in sequence despite their common structural core, function and, in some cases, common specificities towards DNA sequences. This makes it difficult to identify and classify them functionally based on sequence, and has hampered the efforts of specificity-engineering. Here, we define novel REase sequence motifs, which extend beyond the PD-(D/E)XK hallmark, and incorporate secondary structure information. The automated search using these motifs is carried out with a newly developed fast regular expression matching algorithm that accommodates long patterns with optional secondary structure constraints. Using this new tool, named Scan2S, motifs derived from REases with specificity towards GATC- and CGGG-containing DNA sequences successfully identify REases of the same specificity. Notably, some of these sequences are not identified by standard sequence detection tools. The new motifs highlight potential specificity-determining positions that do not fully overlap for the GATC- and the CCGG-recognizing REases and are candidates for specificity re-engineering.
Project description:To counteract host-encoded restriction systems, bacteriophages (phages) incorporate modified bases in their genomes. For example, phages carry in their genomes modified pyrimidines such as 5-hydroxymethyl-cytosine (5hmC) in T4gt deficient in ?- and ?-glycosyltransferases, glucosylated-5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5gmC) in T4, 5-methylcytosine (5mC) in Xp12, and 5-hydroxymethyldeoxyuridine (5hmdU) in SP8. In this work we sequenced phage Xp12 and SP8 genomes and examined Type II restriction of T4gt, T4, Xp12, and SP8 phage DNAs. T4gt, T4, and Xp12 genomes showed resistance to 81.9% (186 out of 227 enzymes tested), 94.3% (214 out of 227 enzymes tested), and 89.9% (196 out of 218 enzymes tested), respectively, commercially available Type II restriction endonucleases (REases). The SP8 genome, however, was resistant to only ?8.3% of these enzymes (17 out of 204 enzymes tested). SP8 DNA could be further modified by adenine DNA methyltransferases (MTases) such as M.Dam and M.EcoGII as well as a number of cytosine DNA MTases, such as CpG methylase. The 5hmdU base in SP8 DNA was phosphorylated by treatment with a 5hmdU DNA kinase to achieve ?20% phosphorylated 5hmdU, resulting resistance or partially resistant to more Type II restriction. This work provides a convenient reference for molecular biologists working with modified pyrimidines and using REases. The genomic sequences of phage Xp12 and SP8 lay the foundation for further studies on genetic pathways for 5mC and 5hmdU DNA base modifications and for comparative phage genomics.
Project description:Endonucleases that generate DNA double strand breaks often employ two independent subunits such that the active site from each subunit cuts either DNA strand. Restriction enzyme BcnI is a remarkable exception. It binds to the 5?-CC/SGG-3? (where S = C or G, '/' designates the cleavage position) target as a monomer forming an asymmetric complex, where a single catalytic center approaches the scissile phosphodiester bond in one of DNA strands. Bulk kinetic measurements have previously shown that the same BcnI molecule cuts both DNA strands at the target site without dissociation from the DNA. Here, we analyse the BcnI DNA binding and target recognition steps at the single molecule level. We find, using FRET, that BcnI adopts either 'open' or 'closed' conformation in solution. Next, we directly demonstrate that BcnI slides over long distances on DNA using 1D diffusion and show that sliding is accompanied by occasional jumping events, where the enzyme leaves the DNA and rebinds immediately at a distant site. Furthermore, we quantify the dynamics of the BcnI interactions with cognate and non-cognate DNA, and determine the preferred binding orientation of BcnI to the target site. These results provide new insights into the intricate dynamics of BcnI-DNA interactions.
Project description:This article continues the series of Surveys and Summaries on restriction endonucleases (REases) begun this year in Nucleic Acids Research. Here we discuss 'Type II' REases, the kind used for DNA analysis and cloning. We focus on their biochemistry: what they are, what they do, and how they do it. Type II REases are produced by prokaryotes to combat bacteriophages. With extreme accuracy, each recognizes a particular sequence in double-stranded DNA and cleaves at a fixed position within or nearby. The discoveries of these enzymes in the 1970s, and of the uses to which they could be put, have since impacted every corner of the life sciences. They became the enabling tools of molecular biology, genetics and biotechnology, and made analysis at the most fundamental levels routine. Hundreds of different REases have been discovered and are available commercially. Their genes have been cloned, sequenced and overexpressed. Most have been characterized to some extent, but few have been studied in depth. Here, we describe the original discoveries in this field, and the properties of the first Type II REases investigated. We discuss the mechanisms of sequence recognition and catalysis, and the varied oligomeric modes in which Type II REases act. We describe the surprising heterogeneity revealed by comparisons of their sequences and structures.