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1.  Cofactor analogue-induced chemical reactivation of endonuclease activity in a DNA cleavage/methylation deficient TspGWI N473A variant in the NPPY motif 
Molecular Biology Reports  2014;41:2313-2323.
We reported previously that TspGWI, a prototype enzyme of a new Thermus sp. family of restriction endonucleases-methyltransferases (REases-MTases), undergoes the novel phenomenon of sinefungin (SIN)-caused specificity transition. Here we investigated mutant TspGWI N473A, containing a single amino acid (aa) substitution in the NPPY motif of the MTase. Even though the aa substitution is located within the MTase polypeptide segment, DNA cleavage and modification are almost completely abolished, indicating that the REase and MTase are intertwined. Remarkably, the TspGWI N473A REase functionality can be completely reconstituted by the addition of SIN. We hypothesize that SIN binds specifically to the enzyme and restores the DNA cleavage-competent protein tertiary structure. This indicates the significant role of allosteric effectors in DNA cleavage in Thermus sp. enzymes. This is the first case of REase mutation suppression by an S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) cofactor analogue. Moreover, the TspGWI N473A clone strongly affects E. coli division control, acting as a ‘selfish gene’. The mutant lacks the competing MTase activity and therefore might be useful for applications in DNA manipulation. Here we present a case study of a novel strategy for REase activity/specificity alteration by a single aa substitution, based on the bioinformatic analysis of active motif locations, combining (a) aa sequence engineering (b) the alteration of protein enzymatic properties, and (c) the use of cofactor–analogue cleavage reconstitution and stimulation.
doi:10.1007/s11033-014-3085-x
PMCID: PMC3968444  PMID: 24442320
Endonuclease-methyltransferase; Thermus sp. enzyme; Enzymatic reaction cofactor; Cofactor analogue; Sinefungin; S-adenosylmethione; Mutant activation; Specificity change
2.  Bifunctional TaqII restriction endonuclease: redefining the prototype DNA recognition site and establishing the Fidelity Index for partial cleaving 
BMC Biochemistry  2011;12:62.
Background
The TaqII enzyme is a member of the Thermus sp. enzyme family that we propounded previously within Type IIS restriction endonucleases, containing related thermophilic bifunctional endonucleases-methyltransferases from various Thermus sp.: TaqII, Tth111II, TthHB27I, TspGWI, TspDTI and TsoI. These enzymes show significant nucleotide and amino acid sequence similarities, a rare phenomenon among restriction endonucleases, along with similarities in biochemical properties, molecular size, DNA recognition sequences and cleavage sites. They also feature some characteristics of Types I and III.
Results
Barker et al. reported the Type IIS/IIC restriction endonuclease TaqII as recognizing two distinct cognate site variants (5'-GACCGA-3' and 5'-CACCCA-3') while cleaving 11/9 nucleotides downstream. We used four independent methods, namely, shotgun cloning and sequencing, restriction pattern analysis, digestion of particular custom substrates and GeneScan analysis, to demonstrate that the recombinant enzyme recognizes only 5'-GACCGA-3' sites and cleaves 11/9 nucleotides downstream. We did not observe any 5'-CACCCA-3' cleavage under a variety of conditions and site arrangements tested. We also characterized the enzyme biochemically and established new digestion conditions optimal for practical enzyme applications. Finally, we developed and propose a new version of the Fidelity Index - the Fidelity Index for Partial Cleavage (FI-PC).
Conclusions
The DNA recognition sequence of the bifunctional prototype TaqII endonuclease-methyltransferase from Thermus aquaticus has been redefined as recognizing only 5'-GACCGA-3' cognate sites. The reaction conditions (pH and salt concentrations) were designed either to minimize (pH = 8.0 and 10 mM ammonium sulphate) or to enhance star activity (pH = 6.0 and no salt). Redefinition of the recognition site and reaction conditions makes this prototype endonuclease a useful tool for DNA manipulation; as yet, this enzyme has no practical applications. The extension of the Fidelity Index will be helpful for DNA manipulation with enzymes only partially cleaving DNA.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-12-62
PMCID: PMC3280180  PMID: 22141927
3.  Enzymatic synthesis of long double-stranded DNA labeled with haloderivatives of nucleobases in a precisely pre-determined sequence 
BMC Biochemistry  2011;12:47.
Background
Restriction endonucleases are widely applied in recombinant DNA technology. Among them, enzymes of class IIS, which cleave DNA beyond recognition sites, are especially useful. We use BsaI enzyme for the pinpoint introduction of halogen nucleobases into DNA. This has been done for the purpose of anticancer radio- and phototherapy that is our long-term objective.
Results
An enzymatic method for synthesizing long double-stranded DNA labeled with the halogen derivatives of nucleobases (Hal-NBs) with 1-bp accuracy has been put forward and successfully tested on three different DNA fragments containing the 5-bromouracil (5-BrU) residue. The protocol assumes enzymatic cleavage of two Polymerase-Chain-Reaction (PCR) fragments containing two recognition sequences for the same or different class IIS restriction endonucleases, where each PCR fragment has a partially complementary cleavage site. These sites are introduced using synthetic DNA primers or are naturally present in the sequence used. The cleavage sites are not compatible, and therefore not susceptible to ligation until they are partially filled with a Hal-NB or original nucleobase, resulting in complementary cohesive end formation. Ligation of these fragments ultimately leads to the required Hal-NB-labeled DNA duplex. With this approach, a synthetic, extremely long DNA fragment can be obtained by means of a multiple assembly reaction (n × maximum PCR product length: n × app. 50 kb).
Conclusions
The long, precisely labeled DNA duplexes obtained behave in very much the same manner as natural DNA and are beyond the range of chemical synthesis. Moreover, the conditions of synthesis closely resemble the natural ones, and all the artifacts accompanying the chemical synthesis of DNA are thus eliminated. The approach proposed seems to be completely general and could be used to label DNA at multiple pre-determined sites and with halogen derivatives of any nucleobase. Access to DNAs labeled with Hal-NBs at specific position is an indispensable condition for the understanding and optimization of DNA photo- and radio-degradation, which are prerequisites for clinical trials of Hal-NBs in anticancer therapy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-12-47
PMCID: PMC3179937  PMID: 21864341

Results 1-3 (3)