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1.  Functional Analysis of MmeI from Methanol Utilizer Methylophilus methylotrophus, a Subtype IIC Restriction-Modification Enzyme Related to Type I Enzymes▿  
MmeI from Methylophilus methylotrophus belongs to the type II restriction-modification enzymes. It recognizes an asymmetric DNA sequence, 5′-TCCRAC-3′ (R indicates G or A), and cuts both strands at fixed positions downstream of the specific site. This particular feature has been exploited in transcript profiling of complex genomes (using serial analysis of gene expression technology). We have shown previously that the endonucleolytic activity of MmeI is strongly dependent on the presence of S-adenosyl-l-methionine (J. Nakonieczna, J. W. Zmijewski, B. Banecki, and A. J. Podhajska, Mol. Biotechnol. 37:127-135, 2007), which puts MmeI in subtype IIG. The same cofactor is used by MmeI as a methyl group donor for modification of an adenine in the upper strand of the recognition site to N6-methyladenine. Both enzymatic activities reside in a single polypeptide (919 amino acids [aa]), which puts MmeI also in subtype IIC of the restriction-modification systems. Based on a molecular model, generated with the use of bioinformatic tools and validated by site-directed mutagenesis, we were able to localize three functional domains in the structure of the MmeI enzyme: (i) the N-terminal portion containing the endonucleolytic domain with the catalytic Mg2+-binding motif D70-X9-EXK82, characteristic for the PD-(D/E)XK superfamily of nucleases; (ii) a central portion (aa 310 to 610) containing nine sequence motifs conserved among N6-adenine γ-class DNA methyltransferases; (iii) the C-terminal portion (aa 610 to 919) containing a putative target recognition domain. Interestingly, all three domains showed highest similarity to the corresponding elements of type I enzymes rather than to classical type II enzymes. We have found that MmeI variants deficient in restriction activity (D70A, E80A, and K82A) can bind and methylate specific nucleotide sequence. This suggests that domains of MmeI responsible for DNA restriction and modification can act independently. Moreover, we have shown that a single amino acid residue substitution within the putative target recognition domain (S807A) resulted in a MmeI variant with a higher endonucleolytic activity than the wild-type enzyme.
PMCID: PMC2612229  PMID: 18997032
2.  The structure of M.EcoKI Type I DNA methyltransferase with a DNA mimic antirestriction protein 
Nucleic Acids Research  2008;37(3):762-770.
Type-I DNA restriction–modification (R/M) systems are important agents in limiting the transmission of mobile genetic elements responsible for spreading bacterial resistance to antibiotics. EcoKI, a Type I R/M enzyme from Escherichia coli, acts by methylation- and sequence-specific recognition, leading to either methylation of DNA or translocation and cutting at a random site, often hundreds of base pairs away. Consisting of one specificity subunit, two modification subunits, and two DNA translocase/endonuclease subunits, EcoKI is inhibited by the T7 phage antirestriction protein ocr, a DNA mimic. We present a 3D density map generated by negative-stain electron microscopy and single particle analysis of the central core of the restriction complex, the M.EcoKI M2S1 methyltransferase, bound to ocr. We also present complete atomic models of M.EcoKI in complex with ocr and its cognate DNA giving a clear picture of the overall clamp-like operation of the enzyme. The model is consistent with a large body of experimental data on EcoKI published over 40 years.
PMCID: PMC2647291  PMID: 19074193
3.  HsdR Subunit of the Type I Restriction-Modification Enzyme EcoR124I: Biophysical Characterisation and Structural Modelling 
Journal of Molecular Biology  2008;376(2):438-452.
Type I restriction-modification (RM) systems are large, multifunctional enzymes composed of three different subunits. HsdS and HsdM form a complex in which HsdS recognizes the target DNA sequence, and HsdM carries out methylation of adenosine residues. The HsdR subunit, when associated with the HsdS-HsdM complex, translocates DNA in an ATP-dependent process and cleaves unmethylated DNA at a distance of several thousand base-pairs from the recognition site. The molecular mechanism by which these enzymes translocate the DNA is not fully understood, in part because of the absence of crystal structures. To date, crystal structures have been determined for the individual HsdS and HsdM subunits and models have been built for the HsdM–HsdS complex with the DNA. However, no structure is available for the HsdR subunit. In this work, the gene coding for the HsdR subunit of EcoR124I was re-sequenced, which showed that there was an error in the published sequence. This changed the position of the stop codon and altered the last 17 amino acid residues of the protein sequence. An improved purification procedure was developed to enable HsdR to be purified efficiently for biophysical and structural analysis. Analytical ultracentrifugation shows that HsdR is monomeric in solution, and the frictional ratio of 1.21 indicates that the subunit is globular and fairly compact. Small angle neutron-scattering of the HsdR subunit indicates a radius of gyration of 3.4 nm and a maximum dimension of 10 nm. We constructed a model of the HsdR using protein fold-recognition and homology modelling to model individual domains, and small-angle neutron scattering data as restraints to combine them into a single molecule. The model reveals an ellipsoidal shape of the enzymatic core comprising the N-terminal and central domains, and suggests conformational heterogeneity of the C-terminal region implicated in binding of HsdR to the HsdS–HsdM complex.
PMCID: PMC2878639  PMID: 18164032
RM, restriction-modification; REase, restriction endonuclease; MTase, methyltransferase; AdoMet, S-adenosylmethionine; SANS, small angle neutron-scattering; FR, protein fold-recognition; fold recognition; homology modelling; de novo modelling; DEAD box; SANS

Results 1-3 (3)