Specific binding of high-mobility-group I (HMGI) protein and histone H1 to the upstream AT-rich region of the murine beta interferon promoter: HMGI protein acts as a potential antirepressor of the promoter.
The high-mobility-group I (HMGI) protein is a nonhistone component of active chromatin. In this work, we demonstrate that HMGI protein specifically binds to the AT-rich region of the murine beta interferon (IFN-beta) promoter localized upstream of the murine virus-responsive element (VRE). Contrary to what has been described for the human promoter, HMGI protein did not specifically bind to the VRE of the murine IFN-beta promoter. Stably transfected promoters carrying mutations on this HMGI binding site displayed delayed virus-induced kinetics of transcription. When integrated into chromatin, the mutated promoter remained repressed and never reached normal transcriptional activity. Such a phenomenon was not observed with transiently transfected promoters upon which chromatin was only partially reconstituted. Using UV footprinting, we show that the upstream AT-rich sequences of the murine IFN-beta promoter constitute a preferential binding region for histone H1. Transfection with a plasmid carrying scaffold attachment regions as well as incubation with distamycin led to the derepression of the IFN-beta promoter stably integrated into chromatin. In vitro, HMGI protein was able to displace histone H1 from the upstream AT-rich region of the wild-type promoter but not from the promoter carrying mutations on the upstream high-affinity HMGI binding site. Our results suggest that the binding of histone H1 to the upstream AT-rich region of the promoter might be partly responsible for the constitutive repression of the promoter. The displacement by HMGI protein of histone H1 could help to convert the IFN-beta promoter from a repressed to an active state. (+info
The SKN-1 amino-terminal arm is a DNA specificity segment.
The Caenorhabditis elegans SKN-1 protein binds DNA through a basic region like those of bZIP proteins and through a flexible amino-terminal arm segment similar to those with which numerous helix-turn-helix proteins bind to bases in the minor groove. A recent X-ray crystallographic structure suggests that the SKN-1 amino-terminal arm provides only nonspecific DNA binding. In this study, however, we demonstrate that this segment mediates recognition of an AT-rich element that is part of the preferred SKN-1 binding site and thereby significantly increases the sequence specificity with which SKN-1 binds DNA. Mutagenesis experiments show that multiple amino acid residues within the arm are involved in binding. These residues provide binding affinity through distinct but partially redundant interactions and enhance specificity by discriminating against alternate sites. The AT-rich element minor groove is important for binding of the arm, which appears to affect DNA conformation in this region. This conformational effect does not seem to involve DNA bending, however, because the arm does not appear to affect a modest DNA bend that is induced by SKN-1. The data illustrate an example of how a small, flexible protein segment can make an important contribution to DNA binding specificity through multiple interactions and mechanisms. (+info
The catalytic mechanism of a pyrimidine dimer-specific glycosylase (pdg)/abasic lyase, Chlorella virus-pdg.
The repair of UV light-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers can proceed via the base excision repair pathway, in which the initial step is catalyzed by DNA glycosylase/abasic (AP) lyases. The prototypical enzyme studied for this pathway is endonuclease V from the bacteriophage T4 (T4 bacteriophage pyrimidine dimer glycosylase (T4-pdg)). The first homologue for T4-pdg has been found in a strain of Chlorella virus (strain Paramecium bursaria Chlorella virus-1), which contains a gene that predicts an amino acid sequence homology of 41% with T4-pdg. Because both the structure and critical catalytic residues are known for T4-pdg, homology modeling of the Chlorella virus pyrimidine dimer glycosylase (cv-pdg) predicted that a conserved glutamic acid residue (Glu-23) would be important for catalysis at pyrimidine dimers and abasic sites. Site-directed mutations were constructed at Glu-23 to assess the necessity of a negatively charged residue at that position (Gln-23) and the importance of the length of the negatively charged side chain (Asp-23). E23Q lost glycosylase activity completely but retained low levels of AP lyase activity. In contrast, E23D retained near wild type glycosylase and AP lyase activities on cis-syn dimers but completely lost its activity on the trans-syn II dimer, which is very efficiently cleaved by the wild type cv-pdg. As has been shown for other glyscosylases, the wild type cv-pdg catalyzes the cleavage at dimers or AP sites via formation of an imino intermediate, as evidenced by the ability of the enzyme to be covalently trapped on substrate DNA when the reactions are carried out in the presence of a strong reducing agent; in contrast, E23D was very poorly trapped on cis-syn dimers but was readily trapped on DNA containing AP sites. It is proposed that Glu-23 protonates the sugar ring, so that the imino intermediate can be formed. (+info
Identification and characterisation of the Drosophila melanogaster O6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase cDNA.
The protein O 6-alkylguanine-DNA alkyltransferase(alkyltransferase) is involved in the repair of O 6-alkylguanine and O 4-alkylthymine in DNA and plays an important role in most organisms in attenuating the cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of certain classes of alkylating agents. A genomic clone encompassing the Drosophila melanogaster alkyltransferase gene ( DmAGT ) was identified on the basis of sequence homology with corresponding genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and man. The DmAGT gene is located at position 84A on the third chromosome. The nucleotide sequence of DmAGT cDNA revealed an open reading frame encoding 194 amino acids. The MNNG-hypersensitive phenotype of alkyltransferase-deficient bacteria was rescued by expression of the DmAGT cDNA. Furthermore, alkyltransferase activity was identified in crude extracts of Escherichia coli harbouring DmAGT cDNA and this activity was inhibited by preincubation of the extract with an oligonucleotide containing a single O6-methylguanine lesion. Similar to E.coli Ogt and yeast alkyltransferase but in contrast to the human alkyltransferase, the Drosophila alkyltransferase is resistant to inactivation by O 6-benzylguanine. In an E.coli lac Z reversion assay, expression of DmAGT efficiently suppressed MNNG-induced G:C-->A:T as well as A:T-->G:C transition mutations in vivo. These results demonstrate the presence of an alkyltransferase specific for the repair of O 6-methylguanine and O 4-methylthymine in Drosophila. (+info
Reactivity of potassium permanganate and tetraethylammonium chloride with mismatched bases and a simple mutation detection protocol.
Many mutation detection techniques rely upon recognition of mismatched base pairs in DNA hetero-duplexes. Potassium permanganate in combination with tetraethylammonium chloride (TEAC) is capable of chemically modifying mismatched thymidine residues. The DNA strand can then be cleaved at that point by treatment with piperidine. The reactivity of potassium permanganate (KMnO4) in TEAC toward mismatches was investigated in 29 different mutations, representing 58 mismatched base pairs and 116 mismatched bases. All mismatched thymidine residues were modified by KMnO4/TEAC with the majority of these showing strong reactivity. KMnO4/TEAC was also able to modify many mismatched guanosine and cytidine residues, as well as matched guanosine, cytidine and thymidine residues adjacent to, or nearby, mismatched base pairs. Previous techniques using osmium tetroxide (OsO4) to modify mismatched thymidine residues have been limited by the apparent lack of reactivity of a third of all T/G mismatches. KMnO4/TEAC showed no such phenomenon. In this series, all 29 mutations were detected by KMnO4/TEAC treatment. The latest development of the Single Tube Chemical Cleavage of Mismatch Method detects both thymidine and cytidine mismatches by KMnO4/TEAC and hydroxylamine (NH2OH) in a single tube without a clean-up step in between the two reactions. This technique saves time and material without disrupting the sensitivity and efficiency of either reaction. (+info
A new promoter polymorphism in the gene of lipopolysaccharide receptor CD14 is associated with expired myocardial infarction in patients with low atherosclerotic risk profile.
Recent findings suggest that inflammation plays a role in atherosclerosis and its acute complications. Cellular response in infections with Gram-negative bacteria is mediated by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which activates monocytes to expression of cytokines, growth factors, and procoagulatory factors via LPS receptor CD14. Endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells are stimulated by a complex of LPS and soluble CD14. In this study, LPS receptor CD14 was analyzed to find genetic variants and check them for an association with coronary artery disease or myocardial infarction (MI). When screening the CD14 gene by single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis, a promoter polymorphism was detected and confirmed as a T-to-C exchange at position -159. We determined the genotypes of 2228 men who had undergone coronary angiography for diagnostic purposes. Within the total study group there was no significant association of either genotype with MI or coronary artery disease. However, in a subgroup with low coronary risk (normotensive nonsmokers), a relative risk for MI in probands homozygous for the T allele could be evaluated (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.0 to 2.4; P<0.05). The association was even stronger in low-risk patients older than 62 years (OR, 3.8; 95% CI, 1.6 to 9.0; P<0.01). In conclusion, we describe a new CD14 promoter polymorphism that is associated with MI, especially in older patients with a low atherosclerotic risk profile. (+info
The Cys4 zinc finger of bacteriophage T7 primase in sequence-specific single-stranded DNA recognition.
Bacteriophage T7 DNA primase recognizes 5'-GTC-3' in single-stranded DNA. The primase contains a single Cys4 zinc-binding motif that is essential for recognition. Biochemical and mutagenic analyses suggest that the Cys4 motif contacts cytosine of 5'-GTC-3' and may also contribute to thymine recognition. Residues His33 and Asp31 are critical for these interactions. Biochemical analysis also reveals that T7 primase selectively binds CTP in the absence of DNA. We propose that bound CTP selects the remaining base G, of 5'-GTC-3', by base pairing. Our deduced mechanism for recognition of ssDNA by Cys4 motifs bears little resemblance to the recognition of trinucleotides of double-stranded DNA by Cys2His2 zinc fingers. (+info
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae homologues of endonuclease III from Escherichia coli, Ntg1 and Ntg2, are both required for efficient repair of spontaneous and induced oxidative DNA damage in yeast.
Endonuclease III from Escherichia coli is the prototype of a ubiquitous DNA repair enzyme essential for the removal of oxidized pyrimidine base damage. The yeast genome project has revealed the presence of two genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, NTG1 and NTG2, encoding proteins with similarity to endonuclease III. Both contain the highly conserved helix-hairpin-helix motif, whereas only one (Ntg2) harbors the characteristic iron-sulfur cluster of the endonuclease III family. We have characterized these gene functions by mutant and enzyme analysis as well as by gene expression and intracellular localization studies. Targeted gene disruption of NTG1 and NTG2 produced mutants with greatly increased spontaneous and hydrogen peroxide-induced mutation frequency relative to the wild type, and the mutation response was further increased in the double mutant. Both enzymes were found to remove thymine glycol and 2, 6-diamino-4-hydroxy-5-N-methylformamidopyrimidine (faPy) residues from DNA with high efficiency. However, on UV-irradiated DNA, saturating concentrations of Ntg2 removed only half of the cytosine photoproducts released by Ntg1. Conversely, 5-hydroxycytosine was removed efficiently only by Ntg2. The enzymes appear to have different reaction modes, as judged from much higher affinity of Ntg2 for damaged DNA and more efficient borhydride trapping of Ntg1 to abasic sites in DNA despite limited DNA binding. Northern blot and promoter fusion analysis showed that NTG1 is inducible by cell exposure to DNA-damaging agents, whereas NTG2 is constitutively expressed. Ntg2 appears to be a nuclear enzyme, whereas Ntg1 was sorted both to the nucleus and to the mitochondria. We conclude that functions of both NTG1 and NTG2 are important for removal of oxidative DNA damage in yeast. (+info