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DNA recognition by the EcoRV restriction endonuclease probed using base analogues

Lookup NU author(s): Pauline Heslop, Professor Bernard Connolly


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The EcoRV restriction endonuclease recognises palindromic GATATC sequences and cuts between the central T and dA bases in a reaction that has an absolute requirement for a divalent metal ion, physiologically Mg2+. Use has been made of base analogues, which delete hydrogen bonds between the protein and DNA (or hydrophobic interactions in the case of the 5-CH3 group of thymine), to evaluate the roles of the outer two base-pairs (GATATC) in DNA recognition. Selectivity arises at both the binding steps leading to the formation of the enzyme-DNA-metal ion ternary complex (assayed by measuring the dissociation constant in the presence of the non-reactive metal Ca2+) and the catalytic step (evaluated using single-turnover hydrolysis in the presence of Mg2+), with each protein-DNA contact contributing to recognition. With the A:T base-pair, binding was reduced by the amount expected for the simple loss of a single contact; much more severe effects were observed with the G:C base-pair, suggesting additional conformational perturbation. Most of the modified bases lowered the rate of hydrolysis; furthermore, the presence of an analogue in one strand of the duplex diminished cutting at the second, unmodified strand, indicative of communication between DNA binding and the active site. The essential metal ion Mg2+ plays a key role in mediating interactions between the DNA binding site and active centre and in many instances rescue of hydrolysis was seen with Mn2+. It is suggested that contacts between the GATATC site are required for tight binding and for the correct assembly of metal ions and bound water at the catalytic site, functions important in providing acid/base catalysis and transition state stabilisation. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Parry D, Moon SA, Liu H-H, Heslop P, Connolly BA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Molecular Biology

Year: 2003

Volume: 331

Issue: 5

Pages: 1005-1016

ISSN (print): 0022-2836

ISSN (electronic): 1089-8638

Publisher: Academic Press


DOI: 10.1016/S0022-2836(03)00861-1

PubMed id: 12927537


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