Restriction enzymes use a 24 dimensional coding space to recognize 6 base long DNA sequences.
ABSTRACT: Restriction enzymes recognize and bind to specific sequences on invading bacteriophage DNA. Like a key in a lock, these proteins require many contacts to specify the correct DNA sequence. Using information theory we develop an equation that defines the number of independent contacts, which is the dimensionality of the binding. We show that EcoRI, which binds to the sequence GAATTC, functions in 24 dimensions. Information theory represents messages as spheres in high dimensional spaces. Better sphere packing leads to better communications systems. The densest known packing of hyperspheres occurs on the Leech lattice in 24 dimensions. We suggest that the single protein EcoRI molecule employs a Leech lattice in its operation. Optimizing density of sphere packing explains why 6 base restriction enzymes are so common.
Project description:Promiscuous mutant EcoRI endonucleases bind to the canonical site GAATTC more tightly than does the wild-type endonuclease, yet cleave variant (EcoRI(*)) sites more rapidly than does wild-type. The crystal structure of the A138T promiscuous mutant homodimer in complex with a GAATTC site is nearly identical to that of the wild-type complex, except that the Thr138 side chains make packing interactions with bases in the 5'-flanking regions outside the recognition hexanucleotide while excluding two bound water molecules seen in the wild-type complex. Molecular dynamics simulations confirm exclusion of these waters. The structure and simulations suggest possible reasons why binding of the A138T protein to the GAATTC site has DeltaS degrees more favorable and DeltaH degrees less favorable than for wild-type endonuclease binding. The interactions of Thr138 with flanking bases may permit A138T, unlike wild-type enzyme, to form complexes with EcoRI(*) sites that structurally resemble the specific wild-type complex with GAATTC.
Project description:8-oxoguanine is one of the most abundant and impactful oxidative DNA lesions. However, the reasons underlying its effects, especially those not directly explained by the altered base pairing ability, are poorly understood. We report the effect of the lesion on the action of EcoRI, a widely used restriction endonuclease. Introduction of 8-oxoguanine inside, or adjacent to, the GAATTC recognition site embedded within the Drew-Dickerson dodecamer sequence notably reduced the EcoRI activity. Solution NMR revealed that 8-oxoguanine in the DNA duplex causes substantial alterations in the sugar-phosphate backbone conformation, inducing a BI?BII transition. Moreover, molecular dynamics of the complex suggested that 8-oxoguanine, although does not disrupt the sequence-specific contacts formed by the enzyme with DNA, shifts the distribution of BI/BII backbone conformers. Based on our data, we propose that the disruption of enzymatic cleavage can be linked with the altered backbone conformation and dynamics in the free oxidized DNA substrate and, possibly, at the protein-DNA interface.
Project description:Restriction endonucleases such as EcoRI bind and cleave DNA with great specificity and represent a paradigm for protein-DNA interactions and molecular recognition. Using osmotic pressure to induce water release, we demonstrate the participation of bound waters in the sequence discrimination of substrate DNA by EcoRI. Changes in solvation can play a critical role in directing sequence-specific DNA binding by EcoRI and are also crucial in assisting site discrimination during catalysis. By measuring the volume change for complex formation, we show that at the cognate sequence (GAATTC) EcoRI binding releases about 70 fewer water molecules than binding at an alternate DNA sequence (TAATTC), which differs by a single base pair. EcoRI complexation with nonspecific DNA releases substantially less water than either of these specific complexes. In cognate substrates (GAATTC) kcat decreases as osmotic pressure is increased, indicating the binding of about 30 water molecules accompanies the cleavage reaction. For the alternate substrate (TAATTC), release of about 40 water molecules accompanies the reaction, indicated by a dramatic acceleration of the rate when osmotic pressure is raised. These large differences in solvation effects demonstrate that water molecules can be key players in the molecular recognition process during both association and catalytic phases of the EcoRI reaction, acting to change the specificity of the enzyme. For both the protein-DNA complex and the transition state, there may be substantial conformational differences between cognate and alternate sites, accompanied by significant alterations in hydration and solvent accessibility.
Project description:Particle shape plays a crucial role in determining packing characteristics. Real particles in nature usually have rounded corners. In this work, we systematically investigate the rounded corner effect on the dense packings of spherotetrahedral particles. The evolution of dense packing structure as the particle shape continuously deforms from a regular tetrahedron to a sphere is investigated, starting both from the regular tetrahedron and the sphere packings. The dimer crystal and the quasicrystal approximant are used as initial configurations, as well as the two densest sphere packing structures. We characterize the evolution of spherotetrahedron packings from the ideal tetrahedron (s?=?0) to the sphere (s?=?1) via a single roundness parameter s. The evolution can be partitioned into seven regions according to the shape variation of the packing unit cell. Interestingly, a peak of the packing density ? is first observed at s???0.16 in the ?-s curves where the tetrahedra have small rounded corners. The maximum density of the deformed quasicrystal approximant family (????0.8763) is slightly larger than that of the deformed dimer crystal family (????0.8704), and both of them exceed the densest known packing of ideal tetrahedra (????0.8563).
Project description:Phage lambda DNA was covalently coupled to epoxy-activated cellulose to form a stable DNA-cellulose matrix for affinity chromatography of sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins. The accessibility of three specific six-base sequences, GGATCC (BamHI), GAATTC (EcoRI) and AAGCTT (HindIII) was studied quantitatively and qualitatively by restriction analysis followed by labelling of their recessed ends. All sites are randomly accessible. The site accessibility is variable, BamHI greater than HindIII greater than EcoRI, and within the range 20-100% depending on base composition and internal structure of the sequence. DNA-epoxycellulose, because of its high efficiency of coupling, capacity, stability and accessibility, can be of great help in the isolation and characterization of sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins.
Project description:As a novel approach to the structural and functional properties that give rise to extremely stringent sequence specificity in protein-DNA interactions, we have exploited "promiscuous" mutants of EcoRI endonuclease to study the detailed mechanism by which changes in a protein can relax specificity. The A138T promiscuous mutant protein binds more tightly to the cognate GAATTC site than does wild-type EcoRI yet displays relaxed specificity deriving from tighter binding and faster cleavage at EcoRI* sites (one incorrect base pair). AAATTC EcoRI* sites are cleaved by A138T up to 170-fold faster than by wild-type enzyme if the site is abutted by a 5'-purine-pyrimidine (5'-RY) motif. When wild-type protein binds to an EcoRI* site, it forms structurally adapted complexes with thermodynamic parameters of binding that differ markedly from those of specific complexes. By contrast, we show that A138T complexes with 5'-RY-flanked AAATTC sites are virtually indistinguishable from wild-type-specific complexes with respect to the heat capacity change upon binding (?C°P), the change in excluded macromolecular volume upon association, and contacts to the phosphate backbone. While the preference for the 5'-RY motif implicates contacts to flanking bases as important for relaxed specificity, local effects are not sufficient to explain the large differences in ?C°P and excluded volume, as these parameters report on global features of the complex. Our findings therefore support the view that specificity does not derive from the additive effects of individual interactions but rather from a set of cooperative events that are uniquely associated with specific recognition.
Project description:Restriction endonucleases are used prevalently in recombinant DNA technology because they bind so stably to a specific target sequence and, in the presence of cofactors, cleave double-helical DNA specifically at a target sequence at a high rate. Using synthetic nanopores along with molecular dynamics (MD), we have analyzed with atomic resolution how a prototypical restriction endonuclease, EcoRI, binds to the DNA target sequence--GAATTC--in the absence of a Mg(2+) ion cofactor. We have previously shown that there is a voltage threshold for permeation of DNA bound to restriction enzymes through a nanopore that is associated with a nanonewton force required to rupture the complex. By introducing mutations in the DNA, we now show that this threshold depends on the recognition sequence and scales linearly with the dissociation energy, independent of the pore geometry. To predict the effect of mutation in a base pair on the free energy of dissociation, MD is used to qualitatively rank the stability of bonds in the EcoRI-DNA complex. We find that the second base in the target sequence exhibits the strongest binding to the protein, followed by the third and first bases, with even the flanking sequence affecting the binding, corroborating our experiments.
Project description:RsrI DNA methyltransferase (M-RsrI) from Rhodobacter sphaeroides has been purified to homogeneity, and its gene cloned and sequenced. This enzyme catalyzes methylation of the same central adenine residue in the duplex recognition sequence d(GAATTC) as does M-EcoRI. The reduced and denatured molecular weight of the RsrI methyltransferase (MTase) is 33,600 Da. A fragment of R. sphaeroides chromosomal DNA exhibited M.RsrI activity in E. coli and was used to sequence the rsrIM gene. The deduced amino acid sequence of M.RsrI shows partial homology to those of the type II adenine MTases HinfI and DpnA and N4-cytosine MTases BamHI and PvuII, and to the type III adenine MTases EcoP1 and EcoP15. In contrast to their corresponding isoschizomeric endonucleases, the deduced amino acid sequences of the RsrI and EcoRI MTases show very little homology. Either the EcoRI and RsrI restriction-modification systems assembled independently from closely related endonuclease and more distantly related MTase genes, or the MTase genes diverged more than their partner endonuclease genes. The rsrIM gene sequence has also been determined by Stephenson and Greene (Nucl. Acids Res. (1989) 17, this issue).
Project description:What role does side-chain packing play in protein stability and structure? To address this question, we compare a lattice model with side chains (SCM) to a linear lattice model without side chains (LCM). Self-avoiding configurations are enumerated in 2 and 3 dimensions exhaustively for short chains and by Monte Carlo sampling for chains up to 50 main-chain monomers long. This comparison shows that (1) side-chain degrees of freedom increase the entropy of open conformations, but side-chain steric exclusion decreases the entropy of compact conformations, thus producing a substantial entropy that opposes folding; (2) there is side-chain "freezing" or ordering, i.e., a sharp decrease in entropy, near maximum compactness; and (3) the different types of contacts among side chains (s) and main-chain elements (m) have different frequencies, and the frequencies have different dependencies on compactness. mm contacts contribute significantly only at high densities, suggesting that main-chain hydrogen bonding in proteins may be promoted by compactness. The distributions of mm, ms, and ss contacts in compact SCM configurations are similar to the distributions in protein structures in the Brookhaven Protein Data Bank. We propose that packing in proteins is more like the packing of nuts and bolts in a jar than like the pairwise matching of jigsaw puzzle pieces.
Project description:Dense particle packing in a confining volume remains a rich, largely unexplored problem, despite applications in blood clotting, plasmonics, industrial packaging and transport, colloidal molecule design, and information storage. Here, we report densest found clusters of the Platonic solids in spherical confinement, for up to [Formula: see text] constituent polyhedral particles. We examine the interplay between anisotropic particle shape and isotropic 3D confinement. Densest clusters exhibit a wide variety of symmetry point groups and form in up to three layers at higher N. For many N values, icosahedra and dodecahedra form clusters that resemble sphere clusters. These common structures are layers of optimal spherical codes in most cases, a surprising fact given the significant faceting of the icosahedron and dodecahedron. We also investigate cluster density as a function of N for each particle shape. We find that, in contrast to what happens in bulk, polyhedra often pack less densely than spheres. We also find especially dense clusters at so-called magic numbers of constituent particles. Our results showcase the structural diversity and experimental utility of families of solutions to the packing in confinement problem.