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Title: Light-induced modulation of DNA recognition by the Rad4/XPC damage sensor protein
Biomolecular structural changes upon binding/unbinding are key to their functions. However, characterization of such dynamical processes is difficult as it requires ways to rapidly and specifically trigger the assembly/disassembly as well as ways to monitor the resulting changes over time. Recently, various chemical strategies have been developed to use light to trigger changes in oligonucleotide structures, and thereby their activities. Here we report that photocleavable DNA can be used to modulate the DNA binding of the Rad4/XPC DNA repair complex using light. Rad4/XPC specifically recognizes diverse helix-destabilizing/distorting lesions including bulky organic adduct lesions and functions as a key initiator for the eukaryotic nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. We show that the 6-nitropiperonyloxymethyl (NPOM)-modified DNA is recognized by the Rad4 protein as a specific substrate and that the specific binding can be abolished by light-induced cleavage of the NPOM group from DNA in a dose-dependent manner. Fluorescence lifetime-based analyses of the DNA conformations suggest that free NPOM-DNA retains B-DNA-like conformations despite its bulky NPOM adduct, but Rad4-binding causes it to be heterogeneously distorted. Subsequent extensive conformational searches and molecular dynamics simulations demonstrate that NPOM in DNA can be housed in the major groove of the DNA, with stacking interactions among the more » nucleotide pairs remaining largely unperturbed and thus retaining overall B-DNA conformation. Our work suggests that photoactivable DNA may be used as a DNA lesion surrogate to study DNA repair mechanisms such as nucleotide excision repair. « less
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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
RSC Chemical Biology
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
523 to 536
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract XPC/Rad4 initiates eukaryotic nucleotide excision repair on structurally diverse helix-destabilizing/distorting DNA lesions by selectively ‘opening’ these sites while rapidly diffusing along undamaged DNA. Previous structural studies showed that Rad4, when tethered to DNA, could also open undamaged DNA, suggesting a ‘kinetic gating’ mechanism whereby lesion discrimination relied on efficient opening versus diffusion. However, solution studies in support of such a mechanism were lacking and how ‘opening’ is brought about remained unclear. Here, we present crystal structures and fluorescence-based conformational analyses on tethered complexes, showing that Rad4 can indeed ‘open’ undamaged DNA in solution and that such ‘opening’ can largely occur without one or the other of the β-hairpin motifs in the BHD2 or BHD3 domains. Notably, the Rad4-bound ‘open’ DNA adopts multiple conformations in solution notwithstanding the DNA’s original structure or the β-hairpins. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal compensatory roles of the β-hairpins, which may render robustness in dealing with and opening diverse lesions. Our study showcases how fluorescence-based studies can be used to obtain information complementary to ensemble structural studies. The tethering-facilitated DNA ‘opening’ of undamaged sites and the dynamic nature of ‘open’ DNA may shed light on how the protein functions within and beyond nucleotide excision repair inmore »cells.« less
  2. Abstract

    The versatile nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway initiates as the XPC–RAD23B–CETN2 complex first recognizes DNA lesions from the genomic DNA and recruits the general transcription factor complex, TFIIH, for subsequent lesion verification. Here, we present a cryo-EM structure of an NER initiation complex containing Rad4–Rad23-Rad33 (yeast homologue of XPC–RAD23B–CETN2) and 7-subunit coreTFIIH assembled on a carcinogen-DNA adduct lesion at 3.9–9.2 Å resolution. A ~30-bp DNA duplex could be mapped as it straddles between Rad4 and the Ssl2 (XPB) subunit of TFIIH on the 3' and 5' side of the lesion, respectively. The simultaneous binding with Rad4 and TFIIH was permitted by an unwinding of DNA at the lesion. Translocation coupled with torque generation by Ssl2 and Rad4 would extend the DNA unwinding at the lesion and deliver the damaged strand to Rad3 (XPD) in an open form suitable for subsequent lesion scanning and verification.

  3. Abstract

    Transcription-coupled repair is essential for the removal of DNA lesions from the transcribed genome. The pathway is initiated by CSB protein binding to stalled RNA polymerase II. Mutations impairing CSB function cause severe genetic disease. Yet, the ATP-dependent mechanism by which CSB powers RNA polymerase to bypass certain lesions while triggering excision of others is incompletely understood. Here we build structural models of RNA polymerase II bound to the yeast CSB ortholog Rad26 in nucleotide-free and bound states. This enables simulations and graph-theoretical analyses to define partitioning of this complex into dynamic communities and delineate how its structural elements function together to remodel DNA. We identify an allosteric pathway coupling motions of the Rad26 ATPase modules to changes in RNA polymerase and DNA to unveil a structural mechanism for CSB-assisted progression past less bulky lesions. Our models allow functional interpretation of the effects of Cockayne syndrome disease mutations.

  4. Abstract Background

    Nucleotide excision repair is the primary DNA repair mechanism that removes bulky DNA adducts such as UV-induced pyrimidine dimers. Correspondingly, genome-wide mapping of nucleotide excision repair with eXcision Repair sequencing (XR-seq), provides comprehensive profiling of DNA damage repair. A number of XR-seq experiments at a variety of conditions for different damage types revealed heterogenous repair in the human genome. Although human repair profiles were extensively studied, how repair maps vary between primates is yet to be investigated. Here, we characterized the genome-wide UV-induced damage repair in gray mouse lemur,Microcebus murinus, in comparison to human.


    We derived fibroblast cell lines from mouse lemur, exposed them to UV irradiation, and analyzed the repair events genome-wide using the XR-seq protocol. Mouse lemur repair profiles were analyzed in comparison to the equivalent human fibroblast datasets. We found that overall UV sensitivity, repair efficiency, and transcription-coupled repair levels differ between the two primates. Despite this, comparative analysis of human and mouse lemur fibroblasts revealed that genome-wide repair profiles of the homologous regions are highly correlated, and this correlation is stronger for highly expressed genes. With the inclusion of an additional XR-seq sample derived from another human cell line in the analysis, we found thatmore »fibroblasts of the two primates repair UV-induced DNA lesions in a more similar pattern than two distinct human cell lines do.


    Our results suggest that mouse lemurs and humans, and possibly primates in general, share a homologous repair mechanism as well as genomic variance distribution, albeit with their variable repair efficiency. This result also emphasizes the deep homologies of individual tissue types across the eukaryotic phylogeny.

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  5. Abstract

    Two families of DNA glycosylases (YtkR2/AlkD, AlkZ/YcaQ) have been found to remove bulky and crosslinking DNA adducts produced by bacterial natural products. Whether DNA glycosylases eliminate other types of damage formed by structurally diverse antibiotics is unknown. Here, we identify four DNA glycosylases—TxnU2, TxnU4, LldU1 and LldU5—important for biosynthesis of the aromatic polyketide antibiotics trioxacarcin A (TXNA) and LL-D49194 (LLD), and show that the enzymes provide self-resistance to the producing strains by excising the intercalated guanine adducts of TXNA and LLD. These enzymes are highly specific for TXNA/LLD-DNA lesions and have no activity toward other, less stable alkylguanines as previously described for YtkR2/AlkD and AlkZ/YcaQ. Similarly, TXNA-DNA adducts are not excised by other alkylpurine DNA glycosylases. TxnU4 and LldU1 possess unique active site motifs that provide an explanation for their tight substrate specificity. Moreover, we show that abasic (AP) sites generated from TxnU4 excision of intercalated TXNA-DNA adducts are incised by AP endonuclease less efficiently than those formed by 7mG excision. This work characterizes a distinct class of DNA glycosylase acting on intercalated DNA adducts and furthers our understanding of specific DNA repair self-resistance activities within antibiotic producers of structurally diverse, highly functionalized DNA damaging agents.