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In JoVE (1)

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Articles by Yu Seon Chung in JoVE

 JoVE General

Iterative Optimization of DNA Duplexes for Crystallization of SeqA-DNA Complexes

1Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University


JoVE 4266

Crystal structure of protein–DNA complexes can provide insight into protein function, mechanism, as well as, the nature of the specific interaction. Here, we report how to optimize the length, sequence and ends of duplex DNA for co-crystallization with Escherichia coli SeqA, a negative regulator of replication initiation.

Other articles by Yu Seon Chung on PubMed

Lesions in Teichoic Acid Biosynthesis in Staphylococcus Aureus Lead to a Lethal Gain of Function in the Otherwise Dispensable Pathway

An extensive study of teichoic acid biosynthesis in the model organism Bacillus subtilis has established teichoic acid polymers as essential components of the gram-positive cell wall. However, similar studies pertaining to therapeutically relevant organisms, such as Staphylococcus aureus, are scarce. In this study we have carried out a meticulous examination of the dispensability of teichoic acid biosynthetic enzymes in S. aureus. By use of an allelic replacement methodology, we examined all facets of teichoic acid assembly, including intracellular polymer production and export. Using this approach we confirmed that the first-acting enzyme (TarO) was dispensable for growth, in contrast to dispensability studies in B. subtilis. Upon further characterization, we demonstrated that later-acting gene products (TarB, TarD, TarF, TarIJ, and TarH) responsible for polymer formation and export were essential for viability. We resolved this paradox by demonstrating that all of the apparently indispensable genes became dispensable in a tarO null genetic background. This work suggests a lethal gain-of-function mechanism where lesions beyond the initial step in wall teichoic acid biosynthesis render S. aureus nonviable. This discovery poses questions regarding the conventional understanding of essential gene sets, garnered through single-gene knockout experiments in bacteria and higher organisms, and points to a novel drug development strategy targeting late steps in teichoic acid synthesis for the infectious pathogen S. aureus.

Structural Insights into the Cooperative Binding of SeqA to a Tandem GATC Repeat

SeqA is a negative regulator of DNA replication in Escherichia coli and related bacteria that functions by sequestering the origin of replication and facilitating its resetting after every initiation event. Inactivation of the seqA gene leads to unsynchronized rounds of replication, abnormal localization of nucleoids and increased negative superhelicity. Excess SeqA also disrupts replication synchrony and affects cell division. SeqA exerts its functions by binding clusters of transiently hemimethylated GATC sequences generated during replication. However, the molecular mechanisms that trigger formation and disassembly of such complex are unclear. We present here the crystal structure of a dimeric mutant of SeqA [SeqADelta(41-59)-A25R] bound to tandem hemimethylated GATC sites. The structure delineates how SeqA forms a high-affinity complex with DNA and it suggests why SeqA only recognizes GATC sites at certain spacings. The SeqA-DNA complex also unveils additional protein-protein interaction surfaces that mediate the formation of higher ordered complexes upon binding to newly replicated DNA. Based on this data, we propose a model describing how SeqA interacts with newly replicated DNA within the origin of replication and at the replication forks.

Structure of the Endonuclease Domain of MutL: Unlicensed to Cut

DNA mismatch repair corrects errors that have escaped polymerase proofreading, increasing replication fidelity 100- to 1000-fold in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans. The MutL protein plays a central role in mismatch repair by coordinating multiple protein-protein interactions that signal strand removal upon mismatch recognition by MutS. Here we report the crystal structure of the endonuclease domain of Bacillus subtilis MutL. The structure is organized in dimerization and regulatory subdomains connected by a helical lever spanning the conserved endonuclease motif. Additional conserved motifs cluster around the lever and define a Zn(2+)-binding site that is critical for MutL function in vivo. The structure unveils a powerful inhibitory mechanism to prevent undesired nicking of newly replicated DNA and allows us to propose a model describing how the interaction with MutS and the processivity clamp could license the endonuclease activity of MutL. The structure also provides a molecular framework to propose and test additional roles of MutL in mismatch repair.

Acyldepsipeptide Antibiotics Induce the Formation of a Structured Axial Channel in ClpP: A Model for the ClpX/ClpA-bound State of ClpP

In ClpXP and ClpAP complexes, ClpA and ClpX use the energy of ATP hydrolysis to unfold proteins and translocate them into the self-compartmentalized ClpP protease. ClpP requires the ATPases to degrade folded or unfolded substrates, but binding of acyldepsipeptide antibiotics (ADEPs) to ClpP bypasses this requirement with unfolded proteins. We present the crystal structure of Escherichia coli ClpP bound to ADEP1 and report the structural changes underlying ClpP activation. ADEP1 binds in the hydrophobic groove that serves as the primary docking site for ClpP ATPases. Binding of ADEP1 locks the N-terminal loops of ClpP in a β-hairpin conformation, generating a stable pore through which extended polypeptides can be threaded. This structure serves as a model for ClpP in the holoenzyme ClpAP and ClpXP complexes and provides critical information to further develop this class of antibiotics.

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