Identification of essential and non-essential single-stranded DNA-binding proteins in a model archaeal organism.
ABSTRACT: Single-stranded DNA-binding proteins (SSBs) play vital roles in all aspects of DNA metabolism in all three domains of life and are characterized by the presence of one or more OB fold ssDNA-binding domains. Here, using the genetically tractable euryarchaeon Haloferax volcanii as a model, we present the first genetic analysis of SSB function in the archaea. We show that genes encoding the OB fold and zinc finger-containing RpaA1 and RpaB1 proteins are individually non-essential for cell viability but share an essential function, whereas the gene encoding the triple OB fold RpaC protein is essential. Loss of RpaC function can however be rescued by elevated expression of RpaB, indicative of functional overlap between the two classes of haloarchaeal SSB. Deletion analysis is used to demonstrate important roles for individual OB folds in RpaC and to show that conserved N- and C-terminal domains are required for efficient repair of DNA damage. Consistent with a role for RpaC in DNA repair, elevated expression of this protein leads to enhanced resistance to DNA damage. Taken together, our results offer important insights into archaeal SSB function and establish the haloarchaea as a valuable model for further studies.
Project description:The bacterial single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB) and the archaeal/eukaryotic functional homolog, replication protein A (RPA), are essential for most aspects of DNA metabolism. Structural analyses of the architecture of SSB and RPA suggest that they are composed of different combinations of a module called the oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding (OB) fold. Members of the domains Bacteria and Eukarya, in general, contain one type of SSB or RPA. In contrast, organisms in the archaeal domain have different RPAs made up of different organizations of OB folds. Interestingly, the euryarchaeon Methanosarcina acetivorans harbors multiple functional RPAs named MacRPA1 (for M. acetivorans RPA 1), MacRPA2, and MacRPA3. Comparison of MacRPA1 with related proteins in the publicly available databases suggested that intramolecular homologous recombination might play an important role in generating some of the diversity of OB folds in archaeal cells. On the basis of this information, from a four-OB-fold-containing RPA, we engineered chimeric modules to create three-OB-fold-containing RPAs to mimic a novel form of RPA found in Methanococcoides burtonii and Methanosaeta thermophila. We further created two RPAs that mimicked the RPAs in Methanocaldococcus jannaschii and Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus through fusions of modules from MacRPA1 and M. thermautotrophicus RPA. Functional studies of these engineered proteins suggested that fusion and shuffling of OB folds can lead to well-folded polypeptides with most of the known properties of SSB and RPAs. On the basis of these results, different models that attempt to explain how intramolecular and intermolecular homologous recombination can generate novel forms of SSB or RPAs are proposed.
Project description:Escherichia coli single-stranded DNA binding protein (SSB) is an essential homotetramer that binds ssDNA and recruits multiple proteins to their sites of action during genomic maintenance. Each SSB subunit contains an N-terminal globular oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide binding fold (OB-fold) and an intrinsically disordered C-terminal domain. SSB binds ssDNA in multiple modes in vitro, including the fully wrapped (SSB)65 and (SSB)56 modes, in which ssDNA contacts all four OB-folds, and the highly cooperative (SSB)35 mode, in which ssDNA contacts an average of only two OB-folds. These modes can both be populated under physiological conditions. While these different modes might be used for different functions, this has been difficult to assess. Here we used a dimeric SSB construct with two covalently linked OB-folds to disable ssDNA binding in two of the four OB-folds thus preventing formation of fully wrapped DNA complexes in vitro, although they retain a wild-type-like, salt-dependent shift in cooperative binding to ssDNA. These variants complement wild-type SSB in vivo indicating that a fully wrapped mode is not essential for function. These results do not preclude a normal function for a fully wrapped mode, but do indicate that E. coli tolerates some flexibility with regards to its SSB binding modes.
Project description:Single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-binding (SSB) proteins are uniformly required to bind and protect single-stranded intermediates in DNA metabolic pathways. All bacterial and eukaryotic SSB proteins studied to date oligomerize to assemble four copies of a conserved domain, called an oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding (OB) fold, that cooperate in nonspecific ssDNA binding. The vast majority of bacterial SSB family members function as homotetramers, with each monomer contributing a single OB fold. However, SSB proteins from the Deinococcus-Thermus genera are exceptions to this rule, because they contain two OB folds per monomer. To investigate the structural consequences of this unusual arrangement, we have determined a 1.8-A-resolution x-ray structure of Deinococcus radiodurans SSB. The structure shows that D. radiodurans SSB comprises two OB domains linked by a beta-hairpin motif. The protein assembles a four-OB-fold arrangement by means of symmetric dimerization. In contrast to homotetrameric SSB proteins, asymmetry exists between the two OB folds of D. radiodurans SSB because of sequence differences between the domains. These differences appear to reflect specialized roles that have evolved for each domain. Extensive crystallographic contacts link D. radiodurans SSB dimers in an arrangement that has important implications for higher-order structures of the protein bound to ssDNA. This assembly utilizes the N-terminal OB domain and the beta-hairpin structure that is unique to Deinococcus and Thermus species SSB proteins. We hypothesize that differences between D. radiodurans SSB and homotetrameric bacterial SSB proteins may confer a selective advantage to D. radiodurans cells that aids viability in environments that challenge genomic stability.
Project description:Escherichia coli single-stranded DNA binding protein (SSB) plays essential roles in DNA replication, recombination and repair. SSB functions as a homotetramer with each subunit possessing a DNA binding domain (OB-fold) and an intrinsically disordered C-terminus, of which the last nine amino acids provide the site for interaction with at least a dozen other proteins that function in DNA metabolism. To examine how many C-termini are needed for SSB function, we engineered covalently linked forms of SSB that possess only one or two C-termini within a four-OB-fold "tetramer". Whereas E. coli expressing SSB with only two tails can survive, expression of a single-tailed SSB is dominant lethal. E. coli expressing only the two-tailed SSB recovers faster from exposure to DNA damaging agents but accumulates more mutations. A single-tailed SSB shows defects in coupled leading and lagging strand DNA replication and does not support replication restart in vitro. These deficiencies in vitro provide a plausible explanation for the lethality observed in vivo. These results indicate that a single SSB tetramer must interact simultaneously with multiple protein partners during some essential roles in genome maintenance.
Project description:Single-stranded DNA binding proteins (SSBs) are ubiquitous across all organisms and are characterized by the presence of an OB (oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide/oligopeptide) binding motif to recognize single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). Despite their critical role in genome maintenance, our knowledge about SSB function is limited to proteins containing multiple OB-domains and little is known about single OB-folds interacting with ssDNA. Sulfolobus solfataricus SSB (SsoSSB) contains a single OB-fold and being the simplest representative of the SSB-family may serve as a model to understand fundamental aspects of SSB:DNA interactions. Here, we introduce a novel approach based on the competition between Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), protein-induced fluorescence enhancement (PIFE) and quenching to dissect SsoSSB binding dynamics at single-monomer resolution. We demonstrate that SsoSSB follows a monomer-by-monomer binding mechanism that involves a positive-cooperativity component between adjacent monomers. We found that SsoSSB dynamic behaviour is closer to that of Replication Protein A than to Escherichia coli SSB; a feature that might be inherited from the structural analogies of their DNA-binding domains. We hypothesize that SsoSSB has developed a balance between high-density binding and a highly dynamic interaction with ssDNA to ensure efficient protection of the genome but still allow access to ssDNA during vital cellular processes.
Project description:Single-stranded DNA-binding proteins (SSBs), including replication protein A (RPA) in eukaryotes, play a central role in DNA replication, recombination, and repair. SSBs utilise an oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding (OB) fold domain to bind DNA, and typically oligomerise in solution to bring multiple OB fold domains together in the functional SSB. SSBs from hyperthermophilic crenarchaea, such as Sulfolobus solfataricus, have an unusual structure with a single OB fold coupled to a flexible C-terminal tail. The OB fold resembles those in RPA, whilst the tail is reminiscent of bacterial SSBs and mediates interaction with other proteins. One paradigm in the field is that SSBs bind specifically to ssDNA and much less strongly to RNA, ensuring that their functions are restricted to DNA metabolism. Here, we use a combination of biochemical and biophysical approaches to demonstrate that the binding properties of S. solfataricus SSB are essentially identical for ssDNA and ssRNA. These features may represent an adaptation to a hyperthermophilic lifestyle, where DNA and RNA damage is a more frequent event.
Project description:Single-stranded DNA binding (SSB) proteins are essential for all DNA-dependent cellular processes. Typical SSB proteins have an N-terminal Oligonucleotide-Binding (OB) fold, a Proline/Glycine rich region, followed by a C-terminal acidic tail. In the genome of the heterocystous nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium, Anabaena sp. strain PCC7120, alr0088 and alr7579 are annotated as coding for SSB, but are truncated and have only the OB-fold. In silico analysis of whole genome of Anabaena sp. strain PCC7120 revealed the presence of another ORF 'all4779', annotated as a hypothetical protein, but having an N-terminal OB-fold, a P/G-rich region and a C-terminal acidic tail. Biochemical characterisation of all three purified recombinant proteins revealed that they exist either as monomer or dimer and bind ssDNA, but differently. The All4779 bound ssDNA in two binding modes i.e. (All4779)35 and (All4779)66 depending on salt concentration and with a binding affinity similar to that of Escherichia coli SSB. On the other hand, Alr0088 bound in a single binding mode of 50-mer and Alr7579 only to large stretches of ssDNA, suggesting that All4779, in all likelihood, is the major typical bacterial SSB in Anabaena. Overexpression of All4779 in Anabaena sp. strain PCC7120 led to enhancement of tolerance to DNA-damaging stresses, such as ?-rays, UV-irradiation, desiccation and mitomycinC exposure. The tolerance appears to be a consequence of reduced DNA damage or efficient DNA repair due to increased availability of All4779. The ORF all4779 is proposed to be re-annotated as Anabaena ssb gene.
Project description:The highly conserved bacterial single-stranded DNA-binding (SSB) proteins play an important role in DNA replication, repair and recombination and are essential for the survival of the cell. They are functional as tetramers, in which four OB(oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide binding)-folds act as DNA-binding domains. The protomer of the SSB protein from the extremely radiation-resistant organism Deinococcus radiodurans (DraSSB) has twice the size of the other bacterial SSB proteins and contains two OB-folds. Using analytical ultracentrifugation, we could show that DraSSB forms globular dimers with some protrusions. These DraSSB dimers can interact with two molecules of E.coli DNA polymerase III chi subunit. In fluorescence titrations with poly(dT) DraSSB bound 47-54 nt depending on the salt concentration, and fluorescence was quenched by more than 75%. A distinct low salt binding mode as for EcoSSB was not observed for DraSSB. Nucleic acid binding affinity, rate constant and association mechanism are quite similar for EcoSSB and DraSSB. In a complementation assay in E.coli, DraSSB took over the in vivo function of EcoSSB. With DraSSB behaving almost identical to EcoSSB the question remains open as to why dimeric SSB proteins have evolved in the Thermus group of bacteria.
Project description:Information processing pathways such as DNA replication are conserved in eukaryotes and archaea and are significantly different from those found in bacteria. Single-stranded DNA-binding (SSB) proteins (or replication protein A, RPA, in eukaryotes) play a central role in many of these pathways. However, whilst euryarchaea have a eukaryotic-type RPA homologue, crenarchaeal SSB proteins appear much more similar to the bacterial proteins, with a single OB fold for DNA binding and a flexible C-terminal tail that is implicated in protein-protein interactions. We have determined the crystal structure of the SSB protein from the crenarchaeote Sulfolobus solfataricus to 1.26 A. The structure shows a striking and unexpected similarity to the DNA-binding domains of human RPA, providing confirmation of the close relationship between archaea and eukaryotes. The high resolution of the structure, together with thermodynamic and mutational studies of DNA binding, allow us to propose a molecular basis for DNA binding and define the features required for eukaryotic and archaeal OB folds.
Project description:Single-stranded DNA binding protein (Ssb) of Deinococcus radiodurans comprises N- and C-terminal oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide binding (OB) folds connected by a beta hairpin connector. To assign functional roles to the individual OB folds, we generated three Ssb variants: SsbN (N-terminal without connector), SsbNC (N-terminal with connector) and SsbC (C-terminal), each harboring one OB fold. Both SsbN and SsbNC displayed weak single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding activity, compared to the full-length Ssb (SsbFL). The level of ssDNA binding activity displayed by SsbC was intermediate between SsbFL and SsbN. SsbC and SsbFL predominantly existed as homo-dimers while SsbNC/SsbN formed different oligomeric forms. In vitro, SsbNC or SsbN formed a binary complex with SsbC that displayed enhanced ssDNA binding activity. Unlike SsbFL, Ssb variants were able to differentially modulate topoisomerase-I activity, but failed to stimulate Deinococcal RecA-promoted DNA strand exchange. The results suggest that the C-terminal OB fold is primarily responsible for ssDNA binding. The N-terminal OB fold binds weakly to ssDNA but is involved in multimerization.