Identification of Amino Acids Essential for Viral Replication in the HCMV Helicase-Primase Complex.
ABSTRACT: Promising new inhibitors that target the viral helicase-primase complex have been reported to block replication of herpes simplex and varicella-zoster viruses, but they have no activity against human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), another herpesvirus. The HCMV helicase-primase complex (pUL105-pUL102-pUL70) is essential for viral DNA replication and could thus be a relevant antiviral target. The roles of the individual subunits composing this complex remain to be defined. By using sequence alignment of herpesviruses homologs, we identified conserved amino acids in the putative pUL105 ATP binding site and in the putative pUL70 zinc finger pattern. Mutational analysis of several of these amino acids both in pUL105 and pUL70, proved that they are crucial for viral replication. We also constructed, by homology modeling, a theoretical structure of the pUL105 N-terminal domain which indicates that the mutated conserved amino acids in this domain could be involved in ATP hydrolysis.
Project description:DNA replication is an essential and conserved process in all domains of life and may serve as a target for the development of new antimicrobials. However, such developments are hindered by subtle mechanistic differences and limited understanding of DNA replication in pathogenic microorganisms. Clostridium difficile is the main cause of healthcare-associated diarrhoea and its DNA replication machinery is virtually uncharacterized. We identify and characterize the mechanistic details of the putative replicative helicase (CD3657), helicase-loader ATPase (CD3654) and primase (CD1454) of C. difficile, and reconstitute helicase and primase activities in vitro We demonstrate a direct and ATP-dependent interaction between the helicase loader and the helicase. Furthermore, we find that helicase activity is dependent on the presence of primase in vitro The inherent trinucleotide specificity of primase is determined by a single lysine residue and is similar to the primase of the extreme thermophile Aquifex aeolicus. However, the presence of helicase allows more efficient de novo synthesis of RNA primers from non-preferred trinucleotides. Thus, loader-helicase-primase interactions, which crucially mediate helicase loading and activation during DNA replication in all organisms, differ critically in C. difficile from that of the well-studied Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis model.
Project description:Bacterial primase is stimulated by replicative helicase to produce RNA primers that are essential for DNA replication. To identify mechanisms regulating primase activity, we characterized primase initiation specificity and interactions with the replicative helicase for gram-positive Firmicutes (Staphylococcus, Bacillus and Geobacillus) and gram-negative Proteobacteria (Escherichia, Yersinia and Pseudomonas). Contributions of the primase zinc-binding domain, RNA polymerase domain and helicase-binding domain on de novo primer synthesis were determined using mutated, truncated, chimeric and wild-type primases. Key residues in the ?4 strand of the primase zinc-binding domain defined class-associated trinucleotide recognition and substitution of these amino acids transferred specificity across classes. A change in template recognition provided functional evidence for interaction in trans between the zinc-binding domain and RNA polymerase domain of two separate primases. Helicase binding to the primase C-terminal helicase-binding domain modulated RNA primer length in a species-specific manner and productive interactions paralleled genetic relatedness. Results demonstrated that primase template specificity is conserved within a bacterial class, whereas the primase-helicase interaction has co-evolved within each species.
Project description:The Mini-chromosome maintenance (Mcm) proteins are essential as central components for the DNA unwinding machinery during eukaryotic DNA replication. DNA primase activity is required at the DNA replication fork to synthesize short RNA primers for DNA chain elongation on the lagging strand. Although direct physical and functional interactions between helicase and primase have been known in many prokaryotic and viral systems, potential interactions between helicase and primase have not been explored in eukaryotes. Using purified Mcm and DNA primase complexes, a direct physical interaction is detected in pull-down assays between the Mcm2~7 complex and the hetero-dimeric DNA primase composed of the p48 and p58 subunits. The Mcm4/6/7 complex co-sediments with the primase and the DNA polymerase ?-primase complex in glycerol gradient centrifugation and forms a Mcm4/6/7-primase-DNA ternary complex in gel-shift assays. Both the Mcm4/6/7 and Mcm2~7 complexes stimulate RNA primer synthesis by DNA primase in vitro. However, primase inhibits the Mcm4/6/7 helicase activity and this inhibition is abolished by the addition of competitor DNA. In contrast, the ATP hydrolysis activity of Mcm4/6/7 complex is not affected by primase. Mcm and primase proteins mutually stimulate their DNA-binding activities. Our findings indicate that a direct physical interaction between primase and Mcm proteins may facilitate priming reaction by the former protein, suggesting that efficient DNA synthesis through helicase-primase interactions may be conserved in eukaryotic chromosomes.
Project description:The Herpesviridae are responsible for debilitating acute and chronic infections, and some members of this family are associated with human cancers. Conventional anti-herpesviral therapy targets the viral DNA polymerase and has been extremely successful; however, the emergence of drug-resistant virus strains, especially in neonates and immunocompromised patients, underscores the need for continued development of anti-herpes drugs. In this article, we explore an alternative target for antiviral therapy, the HSV helicase/primase complex.This review addresses the current state of knowledge of HSV DNA replication and the important roles played by the herpesvirus helicase- primase complex. In the last 10 years several helicase/primase inhibitors (HPIs) have been described, and in this article, we discuss and contrast these new agents with established inhibitors.The outstanding safety profile of existing nucleoside analogues for ?-herpesvirus infection make the development of new therapeutic agents a challenge. Currently used nucleoside analogues exhibit few side effects and have low occurrence of clinically relevant resistance. For HCMV, however, existing drugs have significant toxicity issues and the frequency of drug resistance is high, and no antiviral therapies are available for EBV and KSHV. The development of new anti-herpesvirus drugs is thus well worth pursuing especially for immunocompromised patients and those who develop drug-resistant infections. Although the HPIs are promising, limitations to their development into a successful drug strategy remain.
Project description:Poxviruses are large enveloped viruses that replicate in the cytoplasm of vertebrate or invertebrate cells. At least six virus-encoded proteins are required for synthesis and processing of the double-stranded DNA genome of vaccinia virus, the prototype member of the family. One of these proteins, D5, is an NTPase that contains an N-terminal archaeoeukaryotic primase domain and a C-terminal superfamily III helicase domain. Here we report that individual conserved aspartic acid residues in the predicted primase active site were required for in vivo complementation of infectious virus formation as well as genome and plasmid replication. Furthermore, purified recombinant D5 protein synthesized oligoribonucleotides in vitro. Incorporation of label from [alpha-(32)P]CTP or [alpha-(32)P]UTP into a RNase-sensitive and DNase-resistant product was demonstrated by using single-stranded circular bacteriophage DNA templates and depended on ATP or GTP and a divalent cation. Mutagenesis studies showed that the primase and NTPase activities of the recombinant D5 protein could be independently inactivated. Highly conserved orthologs of D5 are present in all poxviruses that have been sequenced, and more diverged orthologs are found in members of all other families of nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses. These viral primases may have roles in initiation of DNA replication or lagging-strand synthesis and represent potential therapeutic targets.
Project description:Helicase loading at a DNA replication origin often requires the dynamic interactions between the DNA helicase and an accessory protein. In E. coli, the DNA helicase is DnaB and DnaC is its loading partner. We used the method of hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry to address the importance of DnaB-DnaC complex formation as a prerequisite for helicase loading. Our results show that the DnaB ring opens and closes, and that specific amino acids near the N-terminus of DnaC interact with a site in DnaB's C-terminal domain to trap it as an open ring. This event correlates with conformational changes of the RecA fold of DnaB that is involved in nucleotide binding, and of the AAA+ domain of DnaC. DnaC also causes an alteration of the helical hairpins in the N-terminal domain of DnaB, presumably occluding this region from interacting with primase. Hence, DnaC controls the access of DnaB by primase.
Project description:The ordered assembly of the herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 replication apparatus leading to replication compartments likely involves the initial assembly of five viral replication proteins, ICP8, UL9, and the heterotrimeric helicase-primase complex (UL5-UL8-UL52), into replication foci. The polymerase and polymerase accessory protein are subsequently recruited to these foci. Four stages of viral infection (stages I to IV) have been described previously (J. Burkham, D. M. Coen, and S. K. Weller, J. Virol. 72:10100-10107, 1998). Of these, stage III foci are equivalent to the previously described promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML)-associated prereplicative sites and contain all seven replication proteins. We constructed a series of mutations in the putative primase subunit, UL52, of the helicase-primase and have analyzed the mutant proteins for their abilities to form intermediates leading to the formation of replication compartments. The results shown in this paper are consistent with the model that the five proteins, ICP8, UL5, UL8, UL9, and UL52, form a scaffold and that formation of this scaffold does not rely on enzymatic functions of the helicase and primase. Furthermore, we demonstrate that recruitment of polymerase to this scaffold requires the presence of an active primase subunit. These results suggest that polymerase recruitment to replication foci requires primer synthesis. Furthermore, they support the existence of two types of stage III intermediates in the formation of replication compartments: stage IIIa foci, which form the scaffold, and stage IIIb foci, which contain, in addition, HSV polymerase, the polymerase accessory subunit, and cellular factors such as PML.
Project description:Replicative helicases are essential ATPases that unwind DNA to initiate chromosomal replication. While bacterial replicative DnaB helicases are hexameric, Helicobacter pylori DnaB (HpDnaB) was found to form double hexamers, similar to some archaeal and eukaryotic replicative helicases. Here we present a structural and functional analysis of HpDnaB protein during primosome formation. The crystal structure of the HpDnaB at 6.7 Å resolution reveals a dodecameric organization consisting of two hexamers assembled via their N-terminal rings in a stack-twisted mode. Using fluorescence anisotropy we show that HpDnaB dodecamer interacts with single-stranded DNA in the presence of ATP but has a low DNA unwinding activity. Multi-angle light scattering and small angle X-ray scattering demonstrate that interaction with the DnaG primase helicase-binding domain dissociates the helicase dodecamer into single ringed primosomes. Functional assays on the proteins and associated complexes indicate that these single ringed primosomes are the most active form of the helicase for ATP hydrolysis, DNA binding and unwinding. These findings shed light onto an activation mechanism of HpDnaB by the primase that might be relevant in other bacteria and possibly other organisms exploiting dodecameric helicases for DNA replication.
Project description:The heterotrimeric helicase-primase complex of herpes simplex virus type I (HSV-1), consisting of UL5, UL8, and UL52, possesses 5' to 3' helicase, single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-dependent ATPase, primase, and DNA binding activities. In this study we confirm that the UL5-UL8-UL52 complex has higher affinity for forked DNA than for ssDNA and fails to bind to fully annealed double-stranded DNA substrates. In addition, we show that a single-stranded overhang of greater than 6 nucleotides is required for efficient enzyme loading and unwinding. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and surface plasmon resonance analysis provide additional quantitative information about how the UL5-UL8-UL52 complex associates with the replication fork. Although it has previously been reported that in the absence of DNA and nucleoside triphosphates the UL5-UL8-UL52 complex exists as a monomer in solution, we now present evidence that in the presence of forked DNA and AMP-PNP, higher-order complexes can form. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays reveal two discrete complexes with different mobilities only when helicase-primase is bound to DNA containing a single-stranded region, and surface plasmon resonance analysis confirms larger amounts of the complex bound to forked substrates than to single-overhang substrates. Furthermore, we show that primase activity exhibits a cooperative dependence on protein concentration while ATPase and helicase activities do not. Taken together, these data suggest that the primase activity of the helicase-primase requires formation of a dimer or higher-order structure while ATPase activity does not. Importantly, this provides a simple mechanism for generating a two-polymerase replisome at the replication fork.
Project description:During bacterial DNA replication, DnaG primase and the ? subunit of DNA polymerase III compete for binding to single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB), thus facilitating the switch between priming and elongation. SSB proteins play an essential role in DNA metabolism by protecting single-stranded DNA and by mediating several important protein-protein interactions. Although an interaction of SSB with primase has been previously reported, it was unclear which domains of the two proteins are involved. This study identifies the C-terminal helicase-binding domain of DnaG primase (DnaG-C) and the highly conserved C-terminal region of SSB as interaction sites. By ConSurf analysis, it can be shown that an array of conserved amino acids on DnaG-C forms a hydrophobic pocket surrounded by basic residues, reminiscent of known SSB-binding sites on other proteins. Using protein-protein cross-linking, site-directed mutagenesis, analytical ultracentrifugation and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we demonstrate that these conserved amino acid residues are involved in the interaction with SSB. Even though the C-terminal domain of DnaG primase also participates in the interaction with DnaB helicase, the respective binding sites on the surface of DnaG-C do not overlap, as SSB binds to the N-terminal subdomain, whereas DnaB interacts with the ultimate C-terminus.