Type II restriction endonuclease R.KpnI is a member of the HNH nuclease superfamily.
ABSTRACT: The restriction endonuclease (REase) R.KpnI is an orthodox Type IIP enzyme, which binds to DNA in the absence of metal ions and cleaves the DNA sequence 5'-GGTAC--C-3' in the presence of Mg2+ as shown generating 3' four base overhangs. Bioinformatics analysis reveals that R.KpnI contains a betabetaalpha-Me-finger fold, which is characteristic of many HNH-superfamily endonucleases, including homing endonuclease I-HmuI, structure-specific T4 endonuclease VII, colicin E9, sequence non-specific Serratia nuclease and sequence-specific homing endonuclease I-PpoI. According to our homology model of R.KpnI, D148, H149 and Q175 correspond to the critical D, H and N or H residues of the HNH nucleases. Substitutions of these three conserved residues lead to the loss of the DNA cleavage activity by R.KpnI, confirming their importance. The mutant Q175E fails to bind DNA at the standard conditions, although the DNA binding and cleavage can be rescued at pH 6.0, indicating a role for Q175 in DNA binding and cleavage. Our study provides the first experimental evidence for a Type IIP REase that does not belong to the PD...D/EXK superfamily of nucleases, instead is a member of the HNH superfamily.
Project description:The homing endonuclease I-Ssp6803I causes the insertion of a group I intron into a bacterial tRNA gene-the only example of an invasive mobile intron within a bacterial genome. Using a computational fold prediction, mutagenic screen and crystal structure determination, we demonstrate that this protein is a tetrameric PD-(D/E)-XK endonuclease - a fold normally used to protect a bacterial genome from invading DNA through the action of restriction endonucleases. I-Ssp6803I uses its tetrameric assembly to promote recognition of a single long target site, whereas restriction endonuclease tetramers facilitate cooperative binding and cleavage of two short sites. The limited use of the PD-(D/E)-XK nucleases by mobile introns stands in contrast to their frequent use of LAGLIDADG and HNH endonucleases - which in turn, are rarely incorporated into restriction/modification systems.
Project description:Zinc-finger nucleases and TALE nucleases are produced by combining a specific DNA-binding module and a non-specific DNA-cleavage module, resulting in nucleases able to cleave DNA at a unique sequence. Here a new approach for creating highly specific nucleases was pursued by fusing a catalytically inactive variant of the homing endonuclease I-SceI, as DNA binding-module, to the type IIP restriction enzyme PvuII, as cleavage module. The fusion enzymes were designed to recognize a composite site comprising the recognition site of PvuII flanked by the recognition site of I-SceI. In order to reduce activity on PvuII sites lacking the flanking I-SceI sites, the enzymes were optimized so that the binding of I-SceI to its sites positions PvuII for cleavage of the composite site. This was achieved by optimization of the linker and by introducing amino acid substitutions in PvuII which decrease its activity or disturb its dimer interface. The most specific variant showed a more than 1000-fold preference for the addressed composite site over an unaddressed PvuII site. These results indicate that using a specific restriction enzyme, such as PvuII, as cleavage module, offers an alternative to the otherwise often used catalytic domain of FokI, which by itself does not contribute to the specificity of the engineered nuclease.
Project description:Type IIS restriction endonuclease Eco31I is a "short-distance cutter", which cleaves DNA strands close to its recognition sequence, 5'-GGTCTC(1/5). Previously, it has been proposed that related endonucleases recognizing a common sequence core GTCTC possess two active sites for cleavage of both strands in the DNA substrate. Here, we present bioinformatic identification and experimental evidence for a single nuclease active site. We identified a short region of homology between Eco31I and HNH nucleases, constructed a three-dimensional model of the putative catalytic domain and validated our predictions by random and site-specific mutagenesis. The restriction mechanism of Eco31I is suggested by analogy to the mechanisms of phage T4 endonuclease VII and homing endonuclease I-PpoI. We propose that residues D311 and N334 coordinate the cofactor. H312 acts as a general base-activating water molecule for the nucleophilic attack. K337 together with R340 and D345 are located in close proximity to the active center and are essential for correct folding of catalytic motif, while D345 together with R264 and D273 could be directly involved in DNA binding. We also predict that the Eco31I catalytic domain contains a putative Zn-binding site, which is essential for its structural integrity. Our results suggest that the HNH-like active site is involved in the cleavage of both strands in the DNA substrate. On the other hand, analysis of site-specific mutants in the region, previously suggested to harbor the second active site, revealed its irrelevance to the nuclease activity. Thus, our data argue against the earlier prediction and indicate the presence of a single conserved active site in type IIS restriction endonucleases that recognize common sequence core GTCTC.
Project description:Mobile group I introns are RNA splicing elements that have been invaded by endonuclease genes. These endonucleases facilitate intron mobility by a unidirectional, duplicative gene-conversion process known as homing . Survival of the invading endonuclease depends upon its ability to promote intron mobility. Therefore, the endonuclease must either quickly change its cleavage specificity to match the site of intron insertion, or it must already be preadapted to cleave this sequence. Here we show that the group I intron in the DNA polymerase gene of T7-like bacteriophage PhiI is mobile, dependent upon its intronic HNH homing endonuclease gene, I-TslI. We also show that gene 5.3 of phage T3, located adjacent to its intronless DNA polymerase gene, is a homologous homing endonuclease gene whose protein product initiates efficient spread of gene 5.3 into empty sites in related phages. Both of these endonucleases cleave intronless DNA polymerase genes at identical positions. This shared feature between an intronic and free-standing endonuclease is unprecedented. Based on this evidence, we propose that introns and their homing endonucleases evolve separately to target the same highly conserved sequences, uniting afterwards to create a composite mobile element.
Project description:Homing endonucleases encoded in a group I self-splicing intron in a protein-coding gene in cyanophage genomes have not been reported, apart from some free-standing homing edonucleases. In this study, a nicking DNA endonuclease, I-PfoP3I, encoded in a group IA2 intron in the DNA polymerase gene of a T7-like cyanophage Pf-WMP3, which infects the freshwater cyanobacterium Phormidium foveolarum is described. The Pf-WMP3 intron splices efficiently in vivo and self-splices in vitro simultaneously during transcription. I-PfoP3I belongs to the HNH family with an unconventional C-terminal HNH motif. I-PfoP3I nicks the intron-minus Pf-WMP3 DNA polymerase gene more efficiently than the Pf-WMP4 DNA polymerase gene that lacks any intervening sequence in vitro, indicating the variable capacity of I-PfoP3I. I-PfoP3I cleaves 4 nt upstream of the intron insertion site on the coding strand of EXON 1 on both intron-minus Pf-WMP3 and Pf-WMP4 DNA polymerase genes. Using an in vitro cleavage assay and scanning deletion mutants of the intronless target site, the minimal recognition site was determined to be a 14 bp region downstream of the cut site. I-PfoP3I requires Mg(2+), Ca(2+) or Mn(2+) for nicking activity. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the intron and homing endonuclease gene elements might be inserted in Pf-WMP3 genome individually after differentiation from Pf-WMP4. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the presence of a group I self-splicing intron encoding a functional homing endonuclease in a protein-coding gene in a cyanophage genome.
Project description:R.SwaI, a Type IIP restriction endonuclease, recognizes a palindromic eight base pair (bp) symmetric sequence, 5?-ATTTAAAT-3?, and cleaves that target at its center to generate blunt-ended DNA fragments. Here, we report three crystal structures of SwaI: unbound enzyme, a DNA-bound complex with calcium ions; and a DNA-bound, fully cleaved complex with magnesium ions. We compare these structures to two structurally similar ‘PD-D/ExK’ restriction endonucleases (EcoRV and HincII) that also generate blunt-ended products, and to a structurally distinct enzyme (the HNH endonuclease PacI) that also recognizes an 8-bp target site consisting solely of A:T base pairs. Binding by SwaI induces an extreme bend in the target sequence accompanied by un-pairing and re-ordering of its central A:T base pairs. This result is reminiscent of a more dramatic target deformation previously described for PacI, implying that long A:T-rich target sites might display structural or dynamic behaviors that play a significant role in endonuclease recognition and cleavage.
Project description:The GIY-YIG endonuclease family comprises hundreds of diverse proteins and a multitude of functions; none have been visualized bound to DNA. The structure of the GIY-YIG restriction endonuclease R.Eco29kI has been solved both alone and bound to its target site. The protein displays a domain-swapped homodimeric structure with several extended surface loops encircling the DNA. Only three side chains from each protein subunit contact DNA bases, two directly and one via a bridging solvent molecule. Both tyrosine residues within the GIY-YIG motif are positioned in the catalytic center near a putative nucleophilic water; the remainder of the active site resembles the HNH endonuclease family. The structure illustrates how the GIY-YIG scaffold has been adapted for the highly specific recognition of a DNA restriction site, in contrast to nonspecific DNA cleavage by GIY-YIG domains in homing endonucleases or structure-specific cleavage by DNA repair enzymes such as UvrC.
Project description:Background:There are six known families of homing endonucleases, LAGLIDADG, GIY-YIG, HNH, His-Cys box, PD-(D/E)-XK, and EDxHD, which are characterized by their conserved residues. Previously, we discovered a novel homing endonuclease F-CphI encoded by ORF177 of cyanophage S-PM2. F-CphI does not resemble any characterized homing endonucleases. Instead, the C-terminus of F-CphI aligns well with the N-terminal catalytic domain of a Holliday junction DNA resolvase, phage T4 endonuclease VII (Endo VII). Results:A PSI-BLAST search resulted in a total of 313 Endo VII motif-containing sequences in sequenced genomes. Multiple sequence alignment showed that the catalytically important residues of T4 Endo VII were all well conserved in these proteins. Our site-directed mutagenesis studies further confirmed that the catalytically important residues of T4 Endo VII were also essential for F-CphI activity, and thus F-CphI might use a similar protein fold as Endo VII for DNA cleavage. A phylogenetic tree of the Endo VII motif-containing sequences showed that putative resolvases grouped into one clade while putative homing endonucleases and restriction endonucleases grouped into another clade. Conclusions:Based on the unique conserved residues, we proposed that F-CphI represents a new homing endonuclease family, which was named the DHHRN family. Our phylogenetic analysis could be used to predict the functions of many previously unknown proteins.
Project description:Homing endonucleases are site-specific DNA endonucleases that typically function as mobile genetic elements by introducing a double-strand break (DSB) in genomes that lack the endonuclease, resulting in a unidirectional gene conversion event that mobilizes the homing endonuclease gene and flanking DNA. Here, we characterize phage T4-encoded mobE, a predicted free-standing HNH family homing endonuclease. We show that mobE is promoterless and dependent on upstream transcription for expression, and that an internal intrinsic terminator regulates mobE transcript levels. Crucially, in vivo mapping experiments revealed a MobE-dependent, strand-specific nick in the non-coding strand of the nrdB gene of phage T2. An internal deletion of the predicted HNH catalytic motif of MobE abolishes nicking, and reduces high-frequency inheritance of mobE. Sequence polymorphisms of progeny phage that inherit mobE are consistent with DSB repair pathways. Significantly, we found that mobility of the neighboring I-TevIII, a defunct homing endonuclease encoded within a group I intron interrupting the nrdB gene of phage T4, was dependent on an intact mobE gene. Thus, our data indicate that the stagnant nrdB intron and I-TevIII are mobilized in trans as a consequence of a MobE-dependent gene conversion event, facilitating persistence of genetic elements that have no inherent means of promoting their own mobility.
Project description:The bacteriophage P1 Ref (recombination enhancement function) protein is a RecA-dependent, HNH endonuclease. It can be directed to create targeted double-strand breaks within a displacement loop formed by RecA. The 76 amino acid N-terminal region of Ref is positively charged (25/76 amino acid residues) and inherently unstructured in solution. Our investigation of N-terminal truncation variants shows this region is required for DNA binding, contains a Cys involved in incidental dimerization and is necessary for efficient Ref-mediated DNA cleavage. Specifically, Ref N-terminal truncation variants lacking between 21 and 47 amino acids are more effective RecA-mediated targeting nucleases. We propose a more refined set of options for the Ref-mediated cleavage mechanism, featuring the N-terminal region as an anchor for at least one of the DNA strand cleavage events.