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Title: Structural Studies Of Mycobacterial Uracil-DNA Glycosylase (Ung) And Single-Stranded DNA Binding Protein (SSB)
Authors: Kaushal, Prem Singh
Advisors: Vijayan, M
Keywords: Uracil-DNA Glycosylase
DNA Binding Protein
Mycobacterial Proteins - Structural Biology
Mycobacterium Tuberculosis - Enzymes
DNA Repair
Single-Stranded DNA Binding Protein
Uracil N-glycosylase
Submitted Date: Apr-2010
Series/Report no.: G23726
Abstract: For survival and successful propagation, every organism has to maintain the genomic integrity of the cell. The information content, in the form of nucleotide bases, is constantly threatened by endogenous agents and environmental pollutants. In particular, pathogenic mycobacteria are constantly exposed to DNA-damaging assaults such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen intermediate (RNI), in their habitat which is inside host macrophage. In addition, the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis makes it more susceptible for guanine oxidation and cytosine deamination as it is G-C rich. Therefore DNA repair mechanisms are extremely important for the mycobacterium. An important enzyme involved in DNA repair is uracil-DNA glycosylase (Ung). To access the genomic information, during repair as well as DNA replication and recombination, dsDNA must unwind to form single stranded (ss) intermediates. ssDNA is more prone to chemical and nuclease attacks that can produce breaks or lesions and can also inappropriately self associate. In order to preserve ssDNA intermediates, cells have evolved a specialized class of ssDNA-binding proteins (SSB) that associate with ssDNA with high affinity. As part of a major programme on mycobacterial proteins in this laboratory, structural studies on mycobacterial uracil-DNA glycosylase (Ung) and single-stranded DNA binding protein (SSB) have been carried out. The structures were solved using the well-established techniques of protein X-ray crystallography. The hanging drop vapour diffusion and microbatch methods were used for crystallization in all cases. X-ray intensity data were collected on a MAR Research imaging plate mounted on a Rigaku RU200 X-ray generator. The data were processed using the HKL program suite. The structures were solved by the molecular replacement method using the program PHASER and AMoRe. Structure refinements were carried out using the programs CNS and REFMAC. Model building was carried out using COOT. PROCHECK, ALIGN, INSIGHT and NACCESS were used for structure validation and analysis of the refined structures. MD simulations were performed using the software package GROMACS v 3.3.1. Uracil-DNA glycosylase (UNG), a repair enzyme involved in the excision of uracil from DNA, from mycobacteria differs from UNGs from other sources, particularly in the sequence in the catalytically important loops. The structure of the enzyme from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtUng) in complex with a proteinaceous inhibitor (Ugi) has been determined by X-ray analysis of a crystal containing seven crystallographically independent copies of the complex. This structure provides the first geometric characterization of a mycobacterial UNG. A comparison of the structure with those of other UNG proteins of known structure shows that a central core region of the molecule is relatively invariant in structure and sequence, while the N- and C-terminal tails exhibit high variability. The tails are probably important in folding and stability. The mycobacterial enzyme exhibits differences in UNG-Ugi interactions compared with those involving UNG from other sources. The MtUng-DNA complex modelled on the basis of the known structure of the complex involving the human enzyme indicates a domain closure in the enzyme when binding to DNA. The binding involves a larger burial of surface area than is observed in binding by human UNG. The DNA-binding site of MtUng is characterized by the presence of a higher proportion of arginyl residues than is found in the binding site of any other UNG of known structure. In addition to the electrostatic effects produced by the arginyl residues, the hydrogen bonds in which they are involved compensate for the loss of some interactions arising from changes in amino-acid residues, particularly in the catalytic loops. The results arising from the present investigation represent unique features of the structure and interaction of mycobacterial Ungs. To gain further insights, the structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Ung (MtUng) in its free form was also determined. Comparison with appropriate structures indicate that the two domain enzyme slightly closes up when binding to DNA while it slightly opens up when binding to its proteinaceous inhibitor Ugi. The structural changes on complexation in the catalytic loops reflect the special features of their structure in the mycobacterial protein. A comparative analysis of available sequences of the enzyme from different sources indicates high conservation of amino acid residues in the catalytic loops. The uracil binding pocket in the structure is occupied by a citrate ion. The interactions of the citrate ion with the protein mimic those of uracil in addition to providing insights into other possible interactions that inhibitors could be involved in. SSB is an essential accessory protein required during DNA replication, repair and recombination, and various other DNA transactions. Eubacteral single stranded DNA binding (SSB) proteins constitute an extensively studied family of proteins. The variability in the quaternary association in these tetrameric proteins was first demonstrated through the X-ray analysis of the crystal structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis SSB (MtSSB) and Mycobacterium smegmatis (MsSSB) in this laboratory. Subsequent studies on these proteins elsewhere have further explored this variability, but attention was solely concentrated on the variability in the relative orientation of the two dimers that constitute the tetramer. Furthermore, the effect of this variability on the properties of the tetrameric molecule was not adequately addressed. In order to further explore this variability and strengthen structural information on mycobacterial SSBs in particular, and on SSB proteins in general, the crystal structures of two forms of Mycobacterium leprae single stranded DNA-binding protein (MlSSB) has been determined. Comparison of the structures with other eubacterial SSB structures indicates considerable variation in their quaternary association although the DNA binding domains in all of them exhibit the same OB-fold. This variation has no linear correlation with sequence variation, but it appears to correlate well with variation in protein stability. Molecular dynamics simulations have been carried out on tetrameric molecules derived from the two forms and the prototype E. coli SSB and the individual subunits of both the proteins. The X-ray studies and molecular dynamics simulations together yield information on the relatively rigid and flexible regions of the molecule and the effect of oligomerization on flexibility. The simulations provide insights into the changes in the subunit structure on oligomerization. They also provide insights into the stability and time evolution of the hydrogen bonds/water-bridges that connect two pairs of monomers in the tetramer. In continuation of our effort to understand structure-function relationships of mycobacterial SSBs, the structure of MsSSB complexed with a 31-mer polydeoxy-cytidine single stranded DNA (ssDNA) was determined. The mode of ssDNA binding in the MsSSB is different from the modes in the known structures of similar complexes of the proteins from E. coli (EcSSB) and Helicobacter pylori (HpSSB). The modes in the EcSSB and HpSSB also exhibit considerable differences between them. A comparison of the three structures reveals the promiscuity of DNA-binding to SSBs from different species in terms of symmetry and the path followed by the bound DNA chain. It also reveals commonalities within the diversity. The regions of the protein molecule involved in DNA-binding and the nature of the residues which interact with the DNA, exhibit substantial similarities. The regions which exhibit similarities are on the central core of the subunit which is unaffected by tetramerisation. The variable features of DNA binding are associated with the periphery of the subunit, which is involved in oligomerization. Thus, there is some correlation between variability in DNA-binding and the known variability in tetrameric association in SSBs. In addition to the work on Ung and SSB, the author was involved in X-ray studies on crystals of horse methemoglobin at different levels of hydration, which is described in the Appendix of the thesis. The crystal structure of high-salt horse methaemoglobin has been determined at environmental relative humidities (r.h.) of 88, 79, 75 and 66%. The molecule is in the R state in the native and the r.h. 88% crystals. At r.h.79% the molecule appears to move towards the R2 state. The crystal structure at r.h.66% is similar, but not identical, to that at r.h.75%. Thus variation in hydration leads to variation in the quaternary structure. Furthermore, partial dehydration appears to shift the structure from the R state to the R2 state. This observation is in agreement with the earlier conclusion that the changes in protein structure that accompany partial dehydration are similar to those that occur during protein action. A part of the work presented in the thesis has been reported in the following publications. 1. Singh, P., Talawar, R.K., Krishna, P.D., Varshney, U. & Vijayan, M. (2006). Overexpression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of uracil N-glycosylase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis in complex with a proteinaceous inhibitor. Acta Crystallogr. F62, 1231-1234. 2. Kaushal, P.S., Talawar, R.K., Krishna, P.D., Varshney, U. & Vijayan, M. (2008). Unique features of the structure and interactions of mycobacterial uracil-DNA glycosylase: structure of a complex of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis enzyme in comparison with those from other sources. Acta Crystallogr. D64, 551-560. 3. Kaushal, P.S., Sankaranarayanan, R. & Vijayan, M. (2008). Water-mediated variability in the structure of relaxed-state haemoglobin. Acta Crystallogr. F64, 463-469.
Abstract file URL: http://etd.ncsi.iisc.ernet.in/abstracts/1848/G23726-Abs.pdf
URI: http://etd.iisc.ernet.in/handle/2005/1432
Appears in Collections:Molecular Biophysics Unit (mbu)

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