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author:("lubs, Arvydas")
1.  Three-stage biochemical selection: cloning of prototype class IIS/IIC/IIG restriction endonuclease-methyltransferase TsoI from the thermophile Thermus scotoductus 
BMC Molecular Biology  2013;14:17.
Background
In continuing our research into the new family of bifunctional restriction endonucleases (REases), we describe the cloning of the tsoIRM gene. Currently, the family includes six thermostable enzymes: TaqII, Tth111II, TthHB27I, TspGWI, TspDTI, TsoI, isolated from various Thermus sp. and two thermolabile enzymes: RpaI and CchII, isolated from mesophilic bacteria Rhodopseudomonas palustris and Chlorobium chlorochromatii, respectively. The enzymes have several properties in common. They are large proteins (molecular size app. 120 kDa), coded by fused genes, with the REase and methyltransferase (MTase) in a single polypeptide, where both activities are affected by S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). They recognize similar asymmetric cognate sites and cleave at a distance of 11/9 nt from the recognition site. Thus far, we have cloned and characterised TaqII, Tth111II, TthHB27I, TspGWI and TspDTI.
Results
TsoI REase, which originate from thermophilic Thermus scotoductus RFL4 (T. scotoductus), was cloned in Escherichia coli (E. coli) using two rounds of biochemical selection of the T. scotoductus genomic library for the TsoI methylation phenotype. DNA sequencing of restriction-resistant clones revealed the common open reading frame (ORF) of 3348 bp, coding for a large polypeptide of 1116 aminoacid (aa) residues, which exhibited a high level of similarity to Tth111II (50% identity, 60% similarity). The ORF was PCR-amplified, subcloned into a pET21 derivative under the control of a T7 promoter and was subjected to the third round of biochemical selection in order to isolate error-free clones. Induction experiments resulted in synthesis of an app. 125 kDa protein, exhibiting TsoI-specific DNA cleavage. Also, the wild-type (wt) protein was purified and reaction optima were determined.
Conclusions
Previously we identified and cloned the Thermus family RM genes using a specially developed method based on partial proteolysis of thermostable REases. In the case of TsoI the classic biochemical selection method was successful, probably because of the substantially lower optimal reaction temperature of TsoI (app. 10-15°C). That allowed for sufficient MTase activity in vivo in recombinant E. coli. Interestingly, TsoI originates from bacteria with a high optimum growth temperature of 67°C, which indicates that not all bacterial enzymes match an organism’s thermophilic nature, and yet remain functional cell components. Besides basic research advances, the cloning and characterisation of the new prototype REase from the Thermus sp. family enzymes is also of practical importance in gene manipulation technology, as it extends the range of available DNA cleavage specificities.
doi:10.1186/1471-2199-14-17
PMCID: PMC3751577  PMID: 23919831
2.  Screening for catalytically active Type II restriction endonucleases using segregation-induced methylation deficiency 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;40(19):e149.
Type II restriction endonucleases (REases) are one of the basic tools of recombinant DNA technology. They also serve as models for elucidation of mechanisms for both site-specific DNA recognition and cleavage by proteins. However, isolation of catalytically active mutants from their libraries is challenging due to the toxicity of REases in the absence of protecting methylation, and techniques explored so far had limited success. Here, we present an improved SOS induction-based approach for in vivo screening of active REases, which we used to isolate a set of active variants of the catalytic mutant, Cfr10IE204Q. Detailed characterization of plasmids from 64 colonies screened from the library of ∼200 000 transformants revealed 29 variants of cfr10IR gene at the level of nucleotide sequence and 15 variants at the level of amino acid sequence, all of which were able to induce SOS response. Specific activity measurements of affinity-purified mutants revealed >200-fold variance among them, ranging from 100% (wild-type isolates) to 0.5% (S188C mutant), suggesting that the technique is equally suited for screening of mutants possessing high or low activity and confirming that it may be applied for identification of residues playing a role in catalysis.
doi:10.1093/nar/gks635
PMCID: PMC3479162  PMID: 22753027
3.  Related bifunctional restriction endonuclease-methyltransferase triplets: TspDTI, Tth111II/TthHB27I and TsoI with distinct specificities 
BMC Molecular Biology  2012;13:13.
Background
We previously defined a family of restriction endonucleases (REases) from Thermus sp., which share common biochemical and biophysical features, such as the fusion of both the nuclease and methyltransferase (MTase) activities in a single polypeptide, cleavage at a distance from the recognition site, large molecular size, modulation of activity by S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), and incomplete cleavage of the substrate DNA. Members include related thermophilic REases with five distinct specificities: TspGWI, TaqII, Tth111II/TthHB27I, TspDTI and TsoI.
Results
TspDTI, TsoI and isoschizomers Tth111II/TthHB27I recognize different, but related sequences: 5'-ATGAA-3', 5'-TARCCA-3' and 5'-CAARCA-3' respectively. Their amino acid sequences are similar, which is unusual among REases of different specificity. To gain insight into this group of REases, TspDTI, the prototype member of the Thermus sp. enzyme family, was cloned and characterized using a recently developed method for partially cleaving REases.
Conclusions
TspDTI, TsoI and isoschizomers Tth111II/TthHB27I are closely related bifunctional enzymes. They comprise a tandem arrangement of Type I-like domains, like other Type IIC enzymes (those with a fusion of a REase and MTase domains), e.g. TspGWI, TaqII and MmeI, but their sequences are only remotely similar to these previously characterized enzymes. The characterization of TspDTI, a prototype member of this group, extends our understanding of sequence-function relationships among multifunctional restriction-modification enzymes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2199-13-13
PMCID: PMC3384240  PMID: 22489904
4.  Esp1396I restriction–modification system: structural organization and mode of regulation 
Nucleic Acids Research  2003;31(2):743-749.
Esp1396I restriction–modification (RM) system recognizes an interrupted palindromic DNA sequ ence 5′-CCA(N)5TGG-3′. The Esp1396I RM system was found to reside on pEsp1396, a 5.6 kb plasmid naturally occurring in Enterobacter sp. strain RFL1396. The nucleotide sequence of the entire 5622 bp pEsp1396 plasmid was determined on both strands. Identified genes for DNA methyltransferase (esp1396IM) and restriction endonuclease (esp1396IR) are transcribed convergently. The restriction endonuclease gene is preceded by the small ORF (esp1396IC) that possesses a strong helix-turn-helix motif and resembles regulatory proteins found in PvuII, BamHI and few other RM systems. Gene regulation studies revealed that C.Esp1396I acts as both a repressor of methylase expression and an activator of regulatory protein and restriction endonuclease expression. Our data indicate that C protein from Esp1396I RM system activates the expression of the Enase gene, which is co-transcribed from the promoter of regulatory gene, by the mechanism of coupled translation.
PMCID: PMC140501  PMID: 12527784
5.  Circular permutation of DNA cytosine-N4 methyltransferases: in vivo coexistence in the BcnI system and in vitro probing by hybrid formation 
Nucleic Acids Research  2002;30(7):1547-1557.
Sequence analysis of the BcnI restriction-modification system from Bacillus centrosporus revealed four open reading frames (bcnIC, bcnIR, bcnIB and bcnIA) that are arranged as two converging collinear pairs. One pair encodes a putative small regulatory protein, C.BcnI, and the restriction endonuclease R.BcnI. The other two gene products are the DNA cytosine-N4 methyltransferases M.BcnIA and M.BcnIB, which differ by circular permutation of conserved sequence motifs. The BcnI methyltransferases are isospecific on double-stranded DNA [methylation specificity CC(C/G)GG], but M.BcnIA can also methylate the target sites in single-stranded DNA. Functional analysis shows that bcnIA is dispensable (bcnIB is capable of protecting the DNA against the in vivo activity of bcnIR); in contrast, no stable clones were obtained if bcnIB alone was deleted from the system. By analogy with the DpnII system, the second methylase M.BcnIA may play a role in the transformation proficiency of its gram-positive host. The interchangeability of homologous elements in the β class of cytosine-N4 methylases was probed by hybrid formation between M.BcnIB and its closest homolog M.Cfr9I (CCCGGG) employing a novel semi-random strategy combined with selection for catalytic activity. The fusion points in the active hybrids mapped in a narrow region located between sequence motifs X and I. Our data illustrate that recombination of two related sequences by circular permutation may serve as an evolutionary mechanism for creating new specificities of amino MTases.
PMCID: PMC101829  PMID: 11917015
6.  Characterization of BseMII, a new type IV restriction–modification system, which recognizes the pentanucleotide sequence 5′-CTCAG(N)10/8↓ 
Nucleic Acids Research  2001;29(4):895-903.
We report the properties of the new BseMII restriction and modification enzymes from Bacillus stearothermophilus Isl 15-111, which recognize the 5′-CTCAG sequence, and the nucleotide sequence of the genes encoding them. The restriction endonuclease R.BseMII makes a staggered cut at the tenth base pair downstream of the recognition sequence on the upper strand, producing a two base 3′-protruding end. Magnesium ions and S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) are required for cleavage. S-adenosylhomocysteine and sinefungin can replace AdoMet in the cleavage reaction. The BseMII methyltransferase modifies unique adenine residues in both strands of the target sequence 5′-CTCAG-3′/5′-CTGAG-3′. Monomeric R.BseMII in addition to endonucleolytic activity also possesses methyltransferase activity that modifies the A base only within the 5′-CTCAG strand of the target duplex. The deduced amino acid sequence of the restriction endonuclease contains conserved motifs of DNA N6-adenine methylases involved in S-adenosyl-l-methionine binding and catalysis. According to its structure and enzymatic properties, R.BseMII may be regarded as a representative of the type IV restriction endonucleases.
PMCID: PMC29615  PMID: 11160921
7.  Fluoride-Cleavable, Fluorescently Labelled Reversible Terminators: Synthesis and Use in Primer Extension 
Fluorescent 2′-deoxynucleotides containing a protecting group at the 3′-O-position are reversible terminators that enable array-based DNA sequencing-by-synthesis (SBS) approaches. Herein, we describe the synthesis and full characterisation of four reversible terminators bearing a 3′-blocking moiety and a linker-dye system that is removable under the same fluoride-based treatment. Each nucleotide analogue has a different fluorophore attached to the base through a fluoride-cleavable linker and a 2-cyanoethyl moiety as the 3′-blocking group, which can be removed by using a fluoride treatment as well. Furthermore, we identified a DNA polymerase, namely, RevertAid M-MuLV reverse transcriptase, which can incorporate the four modified reversible terminators. The synthesised nucleotides and the optimised DNA polymerase were used on CodeLink slides spotted with hairpin oligonucleotides to demonstrate their potential in a cyclic reversible terminating approach.
doi:10.1002/chem.201001952
PMCID: PMC3110862  PMID: 21294195
fluorescence; fluoride ions; nucleotides; reverse transcriptase; reversible terminators

Results 1-7 (7)