MutS/MutL crystal structure reveals that the MutS sliding clamp loads MutL onto DNA.
ABSTRACT: To avoid mutations in the genome, DNA replication is generally followed by DNA mismatch repair (MMR). MMR starts when a MutS homolog recognizes a mismatch and undergoes an ATP-dependent transformation to an elusive sliding clamp state. How this transient state promotes MutL homolog recruitment and activation of repair is unclear. Here we present a crystal structure of the MutS/MutL complex using a site-specifically crosslinked complex and examine how large conformational changes lead to activation of MutL. The structure captures MutS in the sliding clamp conformation, where tilting of the MutS subunits across each other pushes DNA into a new channel, and reorientation of the connector domain creates an interface for MutL with both MutS subunits. Our work explains how the sliding clamp promotes loading of MutL onto DNA, to activate downstream effectors. We thus elucidate a crucial mechanism that ensures that MMR is initiated only after detection of a DNA mismatch.
Project description:DNA mismatch repair (MMR) identifies and corrects errors made during replication. In all organisms except those expressing MutH, interactions between a DNA mismatch, MutS, MutL, and the replication processivity factor (?-clamp or PCNA) activate the latent MutL endonuclease to nick the error-containing daughter strand. This nick provides an entry point for downstream repair proteins. Despite the well-established significance of strand-specific nicking in MMR, the mechanism(s) by which MutS and MutL assemble on mismatch DNA to allow the subsequent activation of MutL's endonuclease activity by ?-clamp/PCNA remains elusive. In both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, MutS homologs undergo conformational changes to a mobile clamp state that can move away from the mismatch. However, the function of this MutS mobile clamp is unknown. Furthermore, whether the interaction with MutL leads to a mobile MutS-MutL complex or a mismatch-localized complex is hotly debated. We used single molecule FRET to determine that Thermus aquaticus MutL traps MutS at a DNA mismatch after recognition but before its conversion to a sliding clamp. Rather than a clamp, a conformationally dynamic protein assembly typically containing more MutL than MutS is formed at the mismatch. This complex provides a local marker where interaction with ?-clamp/PCNA could distinguish parent/daughter strand identity. Our finding that MutL fundamentally changes MutS actions following mismatch detection reframes current thinking on MMR signaling processes critical for genomic stability.
Project description:DNA mismatch repair (MMR) corrects errors that occur during DNA replication. In humans, mutations in the proteins MutS? and MutL? that initiate MMR cause Lynch syndrome, the most common hereditary cancer. MutS? surveilles the DNA, and upon recognition of a replication error it undergoes adenosine triphosphate-dependent conformational changes and recruits MutL?. Subsequently, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) activates MutL? to nick the error-containing strand to allow excision and resynthesis. The structure-function properties of these obligate MutS?-MutL? complexes remain mostly unexplored in higher eukaryotes, and models are predominately based on studies of prokaryotic proteins. Here, we utilize atomic force microscopy (AFM) coupled with other methods to reveal time- and concentration-dependent stoichiometries and conformations of assembling human MutS?-MutL?-DNA complexes. We find that they assemble into multimeric complexes comprising three to eight proteins around a mismatch on DNA. On the timescale of a few minutes, these complexes rearrange, folding and compacting the DNA. These observations contrast with dominant models of MMR initiation that envision diffusive MutS-MutL complexes that move away from the mismatch. Our results suggest MutS? localizes MutL? near the mismatch and promotes DNA configurations that could enhance MMR efficiency by facilitating MutL? nicking the DNA at multiple sites around the mismatch. In addition, such complexes may also protect the mismatch region from nucleosome reassembly until repair occurs, and they could potentially remodel adjacent nucleosomes.
Project description:Base-pair mismatches that occur during DNA replication or recombination can reduce genetic stability or conversely increase genetic diversity. The genetics and biophysical mechanism of mismatch repair (MMR) has been extensively studied since its discovery nearly 50 years ago. MMR is a strand-specific excision-resynthesis reaction that is initiated by MutS homolog (MSH) binding to the mismatched nucleotides. The MSH mismatch-binding signal is then transmitted to the immediate downstream MutL homolog (MLH/PMS) MMR components and ultimately to a distant strand scission site where excision begins. The mechanism of signal transmission has been controversial for decades. We have utilized single molecule Forster Resonance Energy Transfer (smFRET), Fluorescence Tracking (smFT) and Polarization Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (smP-TIRF) to examine the interactions and dynamic behaviors of single Thermus aquaticus MutS (TaqMutS) particles on mismatched DNA. We determined that TaqMutS forms an incipient clamp to search for a mismatch in ~1 s intervals by 1-dimensional (1D) thermal fluctuation-driven rotational diffusion while in continuous contact with the helical duplex DNA. When MutS encounters a mismatch it lingers for ~3 s to exchange bound ADP for ATP (ADP?ATP exchange). ATP binding by TaqMutS induces an extremely stable clamp conformation (~10 min) that slides off the mismatch and moves along the adjacent duplex DNA driven simply by 1D thermal diffusion. The ATP-bound sliding clamps rotate freely while in discontinuous contact with the DNA. The visualization of a train of MSH proteins suggests that dissociation of ATP-bound sliding clamps from the mismatch permits multiple mismatch-dependent loading events. These direct observations have provided critical clues into understanding the molecular mechanism of MSH proteins during MMR.
Project description:Sliding clamps on DNA consist of evolutionarily conserved enzymes that coordinate DNA replication, repair, and the cellular DNA damage response. MutS homolog (MSH) proteins initiate mismatch repair (MMR) by recognizing mispaired nucleotides and in the presence of ATP form stable sliding clamps that randomly diffuse along the DNA. The MSH sliding clamps subsequently load MutL homolog (MLH/PMS) proteins that form a second extremely stable sliding clamp, which together coordinate downstream MMR components with the excision-initiation site that may be hundreds to thousands of nucleotides distant from the mismatch. Specific or nonspecific binding of other proteins to the DNA between the mismatch and the distant excision-initiation site could conceivably obstruct the free diffusion of these MMR sliding clamps, inhibiting their ability to initiate repair. Here, we employed bulk biochemical analysis, single-molecule fluorescence imaging, and mathematical modeling to determine how sliding clamps might overcome such hindrances along the DNA. Using both bacterial and human MSH proteins, we found that increasing the number of MSH sliding clamps on a DNA decreased the association of the Escherichia coli transcriptional repressor LacI to its cognate promoter LacO. Our results suggest a simple mechanism whereby thermal diffusion of MSH sliding clamps along the DNA alters the association kinetics of other DNA-binding proteins over extended distances. These observations appear generally applicable to any stable sliding clamp that forms on DNA.
Project description:Mismatch repair (MMR) is an evolutionarily conserved DNA repair system, which corrects mismatched bases arising during DNA replication. MutS recognizes and binds base pair mismatches, while the MutL protein interacts with MutS-mismatch complex and triggers MutH endonuclease activity at a distal-strand discrimination site on the DNA. The mechanism of communication between these two distal sites on the DNA is not known. We used functional fluorescent MMR proteins, MutS and MutL, in order to investigate the formation of the fluorescent MMR protein complexes on mismatches in real-time in growing Escherichia coli cells. We found that MutS and MutL proteins co-localize on unrepaired mismatches to form fluorescent foci. MutL foci were, on average, 2.7 times more intense than the MutS foci co-localized on individual mismatches. A steric block on the DNA provided by the MutHE56A mutant protein, which binds to but does not cut the DNA at the strand discrimination site, decreased MutL foci fluorescence 3-fold. This indicates that MutL accumulates from the mismatch site toward strand discrimination site along the DNA. Our results corroborate the hypothesis postulating that MutL accumulation assures the coordination of the MMR activities between the mismatch and the strand discrimination site.
Project description:Escherichia coli MutS forms a mispair-dependent ternary complex with MutL that is essential for initiating mismatch repair (MMR) but is structurally uncharacterized, in part owing to its dynamic nature. Here, we used hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry and other methods to identify a region in the connector domain (domain II) of MutS that binds MutL and is required for mispair-dependent ternary complex formation and MMR. A structurally conserved region in Msh2, the eukaryotic homolog, was required for formation of a mispair-dependent Msh2-Msh6-Mlh1-Pms1 ternary complex. These data indicate that the connector domain of MutS and Msh2 contains the interface for binding MutL and Mlh1-Pms1, respectively, and support a mechanism whereby mispair and ATP binding induces a conformational change that allows the MutS and Msh2 interfaces to interact with their partners.
Project description:Mismatched nucleotides arise from polymerase misincorporation errors, recombination between heteroallelic parents and chemical or physical DNA damage. Highly conserved MutS (MSH) and MutL (MLH/PMS) homologues initiate mismatch repair and, in higher eukaryotes, act as DNA damage sensors that can trigger apoptosis. Defects in human mismatch repair genes cause Lynch syndrome or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer and 10-40% of related sporadic tumours. However, the collaborative mechanics of MSH and MLH/PMS proteins have not been resolved in any organism. We visualized Escherichia coli (Ec) ensemble mismatch repair and confirmed that EcMutS mismatch recognition results in the formation of stable ATP-bound sliding clamps that randomly diffuse along the DNA with intermittent backbone contact. The EcMutS sliding clamps act as a platform to recruit EcMutL onto the mismatched DNA, forming an EcMutS-EcMutL search complex that then closely follows the DNA backbone. ATP binding by EcMutL establishes a second long-lived DNA clamp that oscillates between the principal EcMutS-EcMutL search complex and unrestricted EcMutS and EcMutL sliding clamps. The EcMutH endonuclease that targets mismatch repair excision only binds clamped EcMutL, increasing its DNA association kinetics by more than 1,000-fold. The assembly of an EcMutS-EcMutL-EcMutH search complex illustrates how sequential stable sliding clamps can modulate one-dimensional diffusion mechanics along the DNA to direct mismatch repair.
Project description:The mismatch repair (MMR) initiation protein MutS forms at least two types of sliding clamps on DNA: a transient mismatch searching clamp (?1 s) and an unusually stable (?600 s) ATP-bound clamp that recruits downstream MMR components. Remarkably, direct visualization of single MutS particles on mismatched DNA has not been reported. We have combined real-time particle tracking with fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to image MutS diffusion dynamics on DNA containing a single mismatch. We show searching MutS rotates during diffusion independent of ionic strength or flow rate, suggesting continuous contact with the DNA backbone. In contrast, ATP-bound MutS clamps that are visually and successively released from the mismatch spin freely around the DNA, and their diffusion is affected by ionic strength and flow rate. These observations show that ATP binding alters the MutS diffusion mechanics on DNA, which has a number of implications for the mechanism of MMR.
Project description:MutS functions in mismatch repair (MMR) to scan DNA for errors, identify a target site and trigger subsequent events in the pathway leading to error removal and DNA re-synthesis. These actions, enabled by the ATPase activity of MutS, are now beginning to be analyzed from the perspective of the protein itself. This study provides the first ensemble transient kinetic data on MutS conformational dynamics as it works with DNA and ATP in MMR. Using a combination of fluorescence probes (on Thermus aquaticus MutS and DNA) and signals (intensity, anisotropy and resonance energy transfer), we have monitored the timing of key conformational changes in MutS that are coupled to mismatch binding and recognition, ATP binding and hydrolysis, as well as sliding clamp formation and signaling of repair. Significant findings include (a) a slow step that follows weak initial interaction between MutS and DNA, in which concerted conformational changes in both macromolecules control mismatch recognition, and (b) rapid, binary switching of MutS conformations that is concerted with ATP binding and hydrolysis and (c) is stalled after mismatch recognition to control formation of the ATP-bound MutS sliding clamp. These rate-limiting pre- and post-mismatch recognition events outline the mechanism of action of MutS on DNA during initiation of MMR.
Project description:The identification and analysis of the Pseudomonas avellanae mismatch repair system (MMR) were performed via sequencing and cloning the mutS and mutL genes and then analyzing the characteristics of the corresponding proteins studying their function and biological role in an E. coli heterologous system. In these studies, the P. avellanae MutS and MutL proteins were shown to localise at the nucleoid level, in a MutS-dependent manner as far as MutL is concerned, and were also able to complement the defect observed in both the mutS and mutL knockout strains of E. coli. In addition, their ability to form both homo and heterodimers between each other was shown by using the prokaryotic two-hybrid assay. Our results represent a first step to elucidate the MMR mechanism in plant pathogenic pseudomonads since the MMR genes were identified in P. syringae pathovars but there was no evidence on their action as effective repair products.