DNA base sequence effects on bulky lesion-induced conformational heterogeneity during DNA replication.
ABSTRACT: 4-Aminobiphenyl (ABP) and its structure analog 2-aminofluorene (AF) are well-known carcinogens. In the present work, an unusual sequence effect in the 5'-CTTCTG1G2TCCTCATTC-3' DNA duplex is reported for ABP- and AF-modified G. Specifically, the ABP modification at G1 resulted in a mixture of 67% major groove B-type (B) and 33% stacked (S) conformers, while at the ABP modification at G2 exclusively resulted in the B-conformer. The AF modification at G1 and G2 lead to 25%:75% and 83%:17% B:S population ratios, respectively. These differences in preferred conformation are due to an interplay between stabilizing (hydrogen bonding and stacking that is enhanced by lesion planarity) and destabilizing (solvent exposure) forces at the lesion site. Furthermore, while the B-conformer is a thermodynamic stabilizer and the S-conformer is a destabilizer in duplex settings, the situation is reversed at the single strands/double strands (ss/ds) junction. Specifically, the twisted biphenyl is a better stacker at the ss/ds junction than the coplanar AF. Therefore, the ABP modification leads to a stronger strand binding affinity of the ss/ds junction than the AF modification. Overall, the current work provides conformational insights into the role of sequence and lesion effects in modulating DNA replication.
Project description:Interactions between helicases and the tracking strand of a DNA substrate are well-characterized; however, the role of the displaced strand is a less understood characteristic of DNA unwinding. Dda helicase exhibited greater processivity when unwinding a DNA fork compared to a ss/ds DNA junction substrate. The lag phase in the unwinding progress curve was reduced for the forked DNA compared to the ss/ds junction. Fewer kinetic steps were required to unwind the fork compared to the ss/ds junction, suggesting that binding to the fork leads to disruption of the duplex. DNA footprinting confirmed that interaction of Dda with a fork leads to two base pairs being disrupted whereas no disruption of base pairing was observed with the ss/ds junction. Neutralization of the phosphodiester backbone resulted in a DNA-footprinting pattern similar to that observed with the ss/ds junction, consistent with disruption of the interaction between Dda and the displaced strand. Several basic residues in the 1A domain which were previously proposed to bind to the incoming duplex DNA were replaced with alanines, resulting in apparent loss of interaction with the duplex. Taken together, these results suggest that Dda interaction with the tracking strand, displaced strand and duplex coordinates DNA unwinding.
Project description:Bleomycin B(2)(BLM) in the presence of iron [Fe(II)] and O(2)catalyzes single-stranded (ss) and double-stranded (ds) cleavage of DNA. Electrospray ionization ion trap mass spectrometry was used to monitor these cleavage processes. Two duplex oligonucleotides containing an ethylene oxide tether between both strands were used in this investigation, allowing facile monitoring of all ss and ds cleavage events. A sequence for site-specific binding and cleavage by Fe-BLM was incorporated into each analyte. One of these core sequences, GTAC, is a known hot-spot for ds cleavage, while the other sequence, GGCC, is a hot-spot for ss cleavage. Incubation of each oligo-nucleotide under anaerobic conditions with Fe(II)-BLM allowed detection of the non-covalent ternary Fe-BLM/oligonucleotide complex in the gas phase. Cleavage studies were then performed utilizing O(2)-activated Fe(II)-BLM. No work-up or separation steps were required and direct MS and MS/MS analyses of the crude reaction mixtures confirmed sequence-specific Fe-BLM-induced cleavage. Comparison of the cleavage patterns for both oligonucleotides revealed sequence-dependent preferences for ss and ds cleavages in accordance with previously established gel electrophoresis analysis of hairpin oligonucleotides. This novel methodology allowed direct, rapid and accurate determination of cleavage profiles of model duplex oligonucleotides after exposure to activated Fe-BLM.
Project description:Twin CMG complexes are assembled head-to-head around duplex DNA at eukaryotic origins of replication. Mcm10 activates CMGs to form helicases that encircle single-strand (ss) DNA and initiate bidirectional forks. How the CMGs melt duplex DNA while encircling it is unknown. Here we show that S. cerevisiae CMG tracks with force while encircling double-stranded (ds) DNA and that in the presence of Mcm10 the CMG melts long blocks of dsDNA while it encircles dsDNA. We demonstrate that CMG tracks mainly on the 3'-5' strand during duplex translocation, predicting that head-to-head CMGs at an origin exert force on opposite strands. Accordingly, we show that CMGs that encircle double strand DNA in a head-to-head orientation melt the duplex in an Mcm10-dependent reaction.
Project description:2-Acetylaminofluorene (AAF) is a prototype arylamine carcinogen that forms C8-substituted dG-AAF and dG-AF as the major DNA lesions. The bulky N-acetylated dG-AAF lesion can induce various frameshift mutations depending on the base sequence around the lesion. We hypothesized that the thermodynamic stability of bulged-out slipped mutagenic intermediates (SMIs) is directly related to deletion mutations. The objective of the present study was to probe the structural/conformational basis of various dG-AAF-induced SMIs formed during translesion synthesis. We performed spectroscopic, thermodynamic, and molecular dynamics studies of several AAF-modified 16-mer model DNA duplexes, including fully paired and -1, -2, and -3 deletion duplexes of the 5'-CTCTCGATG[FAAF]CCATCAC-3' sequence and an additional -1 deletion duplex of the 5'-CTCTCGGCG[FAAF]CCATCAC-3' NarI sequence. Modified deletion duplexes existed in a mixture of external B and stacked S conformers, with the population of the S conformer being 'GC'-1 (73%) > 'AT'-1 (72%) > full (60%) > -2 (55%) > -3 (37%). Thermodynamic stability was in the order of -1 deletion > -2 deletion > fully paired > -3 deletion duplexes. These results indicate that the stacked S-type conformer of SMIs is thermodynamically more stable than the conformationally flexible external B conformer. Results from the molecular dynamics simulations indicate that perturbation of base stacking dominates the relative stability along with contributions from bending, duplex dynamics, and solvation effects that are important in specific cases. Taken together, these results support a hypothesis that the conformational and thermodynamic stabilities of the SMIs are critical determinants for the induction of frameshift mutations.
Project description:The ends of eukaryotic chromosomes are protected by specialized telomere chromatin structures. Rap1 and Cdc13 are essential for the formation of functional telomere chromatin in budding yeast by binding to the double-stranded part and the single-stranded 3' overhang, respectively. We analyzed the binding properties of Saccharomyces castellii Rap1 and Cdc13 to partially single-stranded oligonucleotides, mimicking the junction of the double- and single-stranded DNA (ds-ss junction) at telomeres. We determined the optimal and the minimal DNA setup for a simultaneous binding of Rap1 and Cdc13 at the ds-ss junction. Remarkably, Rap1 is able to bind to a partially single-stranded binding site spanning the ds-ss junction. The binding over the ds-ss junction is anchored in a single double-stranded hemi-site and is stabilized by a sequence-independent interaction of Rap1 with the single-stranded 3' overhang. Thus, Rap1 is able to switch between a sequence-specific and a nonspecific binding mode of one hemi-site. At a ds-ss junction configuration where the two binding sites partially overlap, Rap1 and Cdc13 are competing for the binding. These results shed light on the end protection mechanisms and suggest that Rap1 and Cdc13 act together to ensure the protection of both the 3' and the 5' DNA ends at telomeres.
Project description:Double-stranded (ds), as well as denatured, single-stranded (ss) DNA samples can be analyzed on urea-agarose gels. Here we report that after denaturation by heat in the presence of 8 M urea, the two strands of the same ds DNA fragment of approximately 1-20-kb size migrate differently in 1 M urea containing agarose gels. The two strands are readily distinguished on Southern blots by ss-specific probes. The different migration of the two strands could be attributed to their different, base composition-dependent conformation impinging on the electrophoretic mobility of the ss molecules. This phenomenon can be exploited for the efficient preparation of strand-specific probes and for the separation of the complementary DNA strands for subsequent analysis, offering a new tool for various cell biological research areas.
Project description:The defining event in homologous recombination is the exchange of base-paired partners between a single-stranded (ss) DNA and a homologous duplex driven by recombinase proteins, such as human RAD51. To understand the mechanism of this essential genome maintenance event, we analyzed the structure of RAD51-DNA complexes representing strand exchange intermediates at nanometer resolution by scanning force microscopy. Joint molecules were formed between substrates with a defined ssDNA segment and homologous region on a double-stranded (ds) partner. We discovered and quantified several notable architectural features of RAD51 joint molecules. Each end of the RAD51-bound joints had a distinct structure. Using linear substrates, a 10-nt region of mispaired bases blocked extension of joint molecules in all examples observed, whereas 4?nt of heterology only partially blocked joint molecule extension. Joint molecules, including 10?nt of heterology, had paired DNA on either side of the heterologous substitution, indicating that pairing could initiate from the free 3'end of ssDNA or from a region adjacent to the ss-ds junction. RAD51 filaments covering joint ss-dsDNA regions were more stable to disassembly than filaments covering dsDNA. We discuss how distinct structural features of RAD51-bound DNA joints can play important roles as recognition sites for proteins that facilitate and control strand exchange.
Project description:The effect of loop length on quadruplex stability has been studied when the G-rich strand is present along with its complementary C-rich strand, thereby resulting in competition between quadruplex and duplex structures. Using model sequences with loop lengths varying from T to T5, we carried out extensive FRET to discover the influence of loop length on the quadruplex-Watson Crick duplex competition. The binding data show an increase in the binding affinity of quadruplexes towards their complementary strands upon increasing the loop length. Our kinetic data reveal that unfolding of the quadruplex in presence of a complementary strand involves a contribution from a predominant slow and a small population of fast opening conformer. The contribution from the fast opening conformer increases upon increasing the loop length leading to faster duplex formation. FCS data show an increase in the interconversion between the quadruplex conformers in presence of the complementary strand, which shifts the equilibrium towards the fast opening conformer with an increase in loop length. The relative free-energy difference (Delta DeltaG(o)) between the duplex and quadruplex indicates that an increase in loop length favors duplex formation and out competes the quadruplex.
Project description:Telomeres, the DNA-protein structures capping the ends of linear chromosomes, are important for regulating replicative senescence and maintaining genome stability. Telomeres consist of G-rich repetitive sequences that end in a G-rich single-stranded (ss) 3' overhang, which is vital for telomere function. It is largely unknown how the 3' overhang is protected against exonucleases. In budding yeast, double-stranded (ds) telomeric DNA is bound by Rap1, while ssDNA is bound by Cdc13. Here, we developed an in vitro DNA 3'end protection assay to gain mechanistic insight into how Naumovozyma castellii Cdc13 and Rap1 may protect against 3' exonucleolytic degradation by Exonuclease T. Our results show that Cdc13 protects the 3' overhang at least 5 nucleotides (nt) beyond its binding site, when bound directly adjacent to the ds-ss junction. Rap1 protects 1-2 nt of the 3' overhang when bound to dsDNA adjacent to the ds-ss junction. Remarkably, when Rap1 is bound across the ds-ss junction, the protection of the 3' overhang is extended to 6 nt. This shows that binding by either Cdc13 or Rap1 can protect telomeric overhangs from 3' exonucleolytic degradation, and suggests a new important role for Rap1 in protecting short overhangs under circumstances when Cdc13 cannot bind the telomere.
Project description:Helicases unwind double-stranded nucleic acids, remove secondary structures from single-stranded nucleic acids, and remove proteins bound to nucleic acids. For many helicases, the mechanisms for these different functions share the ability to translocate with a directional bias as a result of ATP binding and hydrolysis. Nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) is an essential enzyme expressed by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and is known to catalyze the unwinding of both DNA and RNA substrates in a 3'-to-5' direction. We investigated the role of nucleic acid binding in the unwinding mechanism by examining ATP-independent unwinding. We observed that even in the absence of ATP, the NS3 helicase domain (NS3h) unwound duplexes only when they contained a 3'-tail (i.e., 3'-to-5' directionality). Blunt-ended duplexes and 5'-tailed duplexes were not melted even in the presence of a large excess concentration of the protein. NS3h was found to diffuse rapidly along single-stranded DNA at a rate of 30 nucleotides(2) s(-1). Upon encountering an appropriate single-strand/double-strand (ss/ds) junction, NS3h slowly melted the duplex under conditions with an excess protein concentration relative to DNA concentration. When a biotin-streptavidin block was placed into the ssDNA region, no melting of DNA was observed, suggesting that NS3h must diffuse along the ssDNA, and that the streptavidin blocked the diffusion. We conclude that the specific interaction between NS3h and the ss/dsDNA junction, coupled with diffusion, allows binding energy to melt duplex DNA with a directional bias. Alternatively, we found that the full-length NS3 protein did not exhibit strict directionality and was dependent on duplex DNA length. NS3 was able to unwind the duplex even in the presence of the biotin-streptavidin block. We propose a noncanonical model of unwinding for NS3 in which the enzyme binds directly to the duplex via protein-protein interactions to melt the substrate.