An investigation of the structural requirements for ATP hydrolysis and DNA cleavage by the EcoKI Type I DNA restriction and modification enzyme.
ABSTRACT: Type I DNA restriction/modification systems are oligomeric enzymes capable of switching between a methyltransferase function on hemimethylated host DNA and an endonuclease function on unmethylated foreign DNA. They have long been believed to not turnover as endonucleases with the enzyme becoming inactive after cleavage. Cleavage is preceded and followed by extensive ATP hydrolysis and DNA translocation. A role for dissociation of subunits to allow their reuse has been proposed for the EcoR124I enzyme. The EcoKI enzyme is a stable assembly in the absence of DNA, so recycling was thought impossible. Here, we demonstrate that EcoKI becomes unstable on long unmethylated DNA; reuse of the methyltransferase subunits is possible so that restriction proceeds until the restriction subunits have been depleted. We observed that RecBCD exonuclease halts restriction and does not assist recycling. We examined the DNA structure required to initiate ATP hydrolysis by EcoKI and find that a 21-bp duplex with single-stranded extensions of 12 bases on either side of the target sequence is sufficient to support hydrolysis. Lastly, we discuss whether turnover is an evolutionary requirement for restriction, show that the ATP hydrolysis is not deleterious to the host cell and discuss how foreign DNA occasionally becomes fully methylated by these systems.
Project description:Type I DNA restriction/modification (RM) enzymes are molecular machines found in the majority of bacterial species. Their early discovery paved the way for the development of genetic engineering. They control (restrict) the influx of foreign DNA via horizontal gene transfer into the bacterium while maintaining sequence-specific methylation (modification) of host DNA. The endonuclease reaction of these enzymes on unmethylated DNA is preceded by bidirectional translocation of thousands of base pairs of DNA toward the enzyme. We present the structures of two type I RM enzymes, EcoKI and EcoR124I, derived using electron microscopy (EM), small-angle scattering (neutron and X-ray), and detailed molecular modeling. DNA binding triggers a large contraction of the open form of the enzyme to a compact form. The path followed by DNA through the complexes is revealed by using a DNA mimic anti-restriction protein. The structures reveal an evolutionary link between type I RM enzymes and type II RM enzymes.
Project description:The Type I restriction-modification enzymes comprise three protein subunits; HsdS and HsdM that form a methyltransferase (MTase) and HsdR that associates with the MTase and catalyses Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP)-dependent DNA translocation and cleavage. Here, we examine whether the MTase and HsdR components can 'turnover' in vitro, i.e. whether they can catalyse translocation and cleavage events on one DNA molecule, dissociate and then re-bind a second DNA molecule. Translocation termination by both EcoKI and EcoR124I leads to HsdR dissociation from linear DNA but not from circular DNA. Following DNA cleavage, the HsdR subunits appear unable to dissociate even though the DNA is linear, suggesting a tight interaction with the cleaved product. The MTases of EcoKI and EcoAI can dissociate from DNA following either translocation or cleavage and can initiate reactions on new DNA molecules as long as free HsdR molecules are available. In contrast, the MTase of EcoR124I does not turnover and additional cleavage of circular DNA is not observed by inclusion of RecBCD, a helicase-nuclease that degrades the linear DNA product resulting from Type I cleavage. Roles for Type I restriction endonuclease subunit dynamics in restriction alleviation in the cell are discussed.
Project description:The nucleoid-associated protein, StpA, of Escherichia coli binds non-specifically to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) and apparently forms bridges between adjacent segments of the DNA. Such a coating of protein on the DNA would be expected to hinder the action of nucleases. We demonstrate that StpA binding hinders dsDNA cleavage by both the non-specific endonuclease, DNase I, and by the site-specific type I restriction endonuclease, EcoKI. It requires approximately one StpA molecule per 250-300 bp of supercoiled DNA and approximately one StpA molecule per 60-100 bp on linear DNA for strong inhibition of the nucleases. These results support the role of StpA as a nucleoid-structuring protein which binds DNA segments together. The inhibition of EcoKI, which cleaves DNA at a site remote from its initial target sequence after extensive DNA translocation driven by ATP hydrolysis, suggests that these enzymes would be unable to function on chromosomal DNA even during times of DNA damage when potentially lethal, unmodified target sites occur on the chromosome. This supports a role for nucleoid-associated proteins in restriction alleviation during times of cell stress.
Project description:The rapid evolution of bacteria is crucial to their survival and is caused by exchange, transfer, and uptake of DNA, among other things. Conjugation is one of the main mechanisms by which bacteria share their DNA, and it is thought to be controlled by varied bacterial immune systems. Contradictory results about restriction-modification systems based on phenotypic studies have been presented as reasons for a barrier to conjugation with and other means of uptake of exogenous DNA. In this study, we show that inactivation of the R.EcoKI restriction enzyme in strain Escherichia coli K-12 strain MG1655 increases the conjugational transfer of plasmid pOLA52, which carriers two EcoKI recognition sites. Interestingly, the results were not absolute, and uptake of unmethylated pOLA52 was still observed in the wild-type strain (with an intact hsdR gene) but at a reduction of 85% compared to the uptake of the mutant recipient with a disrupted hsdR gene. This leads to the conclusion that EcoKI restriction-modification affects the uptake of DNA by conjugation but is not a major barrier to plasmid transfer.
Project description:Type-I DNA restriction-modification (R/M) systems are important agents in limiting the transmission of mobile genetic elements responsible for spreading bacterial resistance to antibiotics. EcoKI, a Type I R/M enzyme from Escherichia coli, acts by methylation- and sequence-specific recognition, leading to either methylation of DNA or translocation and cutting at a random site, often hundreds of base pairs away. Consisting of one specificity subunit, two modification subunits, and two DNA translocase/endonuclease subunits, EcoKI is inhibited by the T7 phage antirestriction protein ocr, a DNA mimic. We present a 3D density map generated by negative-stain electron microscopy and single particle analysis of the central core of the restriction complex, the M.EcoKI M(2)S(1) methyltransferase, bound to ocr. We also present complete atomic models of M.EcoKI in complex with ocr and its cognate DNA giving a clear picture of the overall clamp-like operation of the enzyme. The model is consistent with a large body of experimental data on EcoKI published over 40 years.
Project description:The EcoKI DNA methyltransferase is a trimeric protein comprised of two modification subunits (M) and one sequence specificity subunit (S). This enzyme forms the core of the EcoKI restriction/modification (RM) enzyme. The 3' end of the gene encoding the M subunit overlaps by 1 nt the start of the gene for the S subunit. Translation from the two different open reading frames is translationally coupled. Mutagenesis to remove the frameshift and fuse the two subunits together produces a functional RM enzyme in vivo with the same properties as the natural EcoKI system. The fusion protein can be purified and forms an active restriction enzyme upon addition of restriction subunits and of additional M subunit. The Type I RM systems are grouped into families, IA to IE, defined by complementation, hybridization and sequence similarity. The fusion protein forms an evolutionary intermediate form lying between the Type IA family of RM enzymes and the Type IB family of RM enzymes which have the frameshift located at a different part of the gene sequence.
Project description:Atomic force microscopy (AFM) allows the study of single protein-DNA interactions such as those observed with the Type I Restriction-Modification systems. The mechanisms employed by these systems are complicated and understanding them has proved problematic. It has been known for years that these enzymes translocate DNA during the restriction reaction, but more recent AFM work suggested that the archetypal EcoKI protein went through an additional dimerization stage before the onset of translocation. The results presented here extend earlier findings confirming the dimerization. Dimerization is particularly common if the DNA molecule contains two EcoKI recognition sites. DNA loops with dimers at their apex form if the DNA is sufficiently long, and also form in the presence of ATPgammaS, a non-hydrolysable analogue of the ATP required for translocation, indicating that the looping is on the reaction pathway of the enzyme. Visualization of specific DNA loops in the protein-DNA constructs was achieved by improved sample preparation and analysis techniques. The reported dimerization and looping mechanism is unlikely to be exclusive to EcoKI, and offers greater insight into the detailed functioning of this and other higher order assemblies of proteins operating by bringing distant sites on DNA into close proximity via DNA looping.
Project description:The ocr protein, the product of gene 0.3 of bacteriophage T7, is a structural mimic of the phosphate backbone of B-form DNA. In total it mimics 22 phosphate groups over approximately 24 bp of DNA. This mimicry allows it to block DNA binding by type I DNA restriction enzymes and to inhibit these enzymes. We have determined that multiple ocr dimers can bind stoichiometrically to the archetypal type I enzyme, EcoKI. One dimer binds to the core methyltransferase and two to the complete bifunctional restriction and modification enzyme. Ocr can also bind to the component subunits of EcoKI. Binding affinity to the methyltransferase core is extremely strong with a large favourable enthalpy change and an unfavourable entropy change. This strong interaction prevents the dissociation of the methyltransferase which occurs upon dilution of the enzyme. This stabilisation arises because the interaction appears to involve virtually the entire surface area of ocr and leads to the enzyme completely wrapping around ocr.
Project description:Sequence-specific binding to DNA in the presence of competing non-sequence-specific ligands is a problem faced by proteins in all organisms. It is akin to the problem of parking a truck at a loading bay by the side of a road in the presence of cars parked at random along the road. Cars even partially covering the loading bay prevent correct parking of the truck. Similarly on DNA, non-specific ligands interfere with the binding and function of sequence-specific proteins. We derive a formula for the probability that the loading bay is free from parked cars. The probability depends on the size of the loading bay and allows an estimation of the size of the footprint on the DNA of the sequence-specific protein by assaying protein binding or function in the presence of increasing concentrations of non-specific ligand. Assaying for function gives an 'activity footprint'; the minimum length of DNA required for function rather than the more commonly measured physical footprint. Assaying the complex type I restriction enzyme, EcoKI, gives an activity footprint of approximately 66 bp for ATP hydrolysis and 300 bp for the DNA cleavage function which is intimately linked with translocation of DNA by EcoKI. Furthermore, considering the coverage of chromosomal DNA by proteins in vivo, our theory shows that the search for a specific DNA sequence is very difficult; most sites are obscured by parked cars. This effectively rules out any significant role in target location for mechanisms invoking one-dimensional, linear diffusion along DNA.
Project description:Anti-restriction and anti-modification (anti-RM) is the ability to prevent cleavage by DNA restriction-modification (RM) systems of foreign DNA entering a new bacterial host. The evolutionary consequence of anti-RM is the enhanced dissemination of mobile genetic elements. Homologues of ArdA anti-RM proteins are encoded by genes present in many mobile genetic elements such as conjugative plasmids and transposons within bacterial genomes. The ArdA proteins cause anti-RM by mimicking the DNA structure bound by Type I RM enzymes. We have investigated ArdA proteins from the genomes of Enterococcus faecalis V583, Staphylococcus aureus Mu50 and Bacteroides fragilis NCTC 9343, and compared them to the ArdA protein expressed by the conjugative transposon Tn916. We find that despite having very different structural stability and secondary structure content, they can all bind to the EcoKI methyltransferase, a core component of the EcoKI Type I RM system. This finding indicates that the less structured ArdA proteins become fully folded upon binding. The ability of ArdA from diverse mobile elements to inhibit Type I RM systems from other bacteria suggests that they are an advantage for transfer not only between closely-related bacteria but also between more distantly related bacterial species.