DNA replication beneath the microscope


KAUST scientists use cryogenic electron microscopy to research the 3D construction and performance of key protein complexes concerned in DNA replication and restore. Credit: KAUST; Heno Hwang

Cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has enabled researchers to check how the DNA replication equipment assembles at websites the place DNA is broken.

Cellular DNA is repeatedly uncovered to each endogenous and exogenous DNA-damaging brokers, corresponding to reactive oxygen species and UV radiation. To scale back the organic penalties of DNA harm, all living organisms have developed mechanisms to tolerate and restore DNA harm to strive to make sure that genetic info is precisely inherited. One such mechanism, referred to as translesion synthesis (TLS), permits DNA replication to proceed via unrepaired DNA lesions.

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TLS includes extremely correct DNA synthesizing enzymes (replicative DNA polymerases) being quickly changed with specialised, low-fidelity TLS polymerases that may guarantee cell survival on the expense of introducing mutations. The mutagenic and translesion artificial exercise of TLS polymerases may end up in regular cells turning into cancerous or most cancers cells turning into drug resistant.

The Y-family TLS polymerase PolOk is ready to carry out DNA synthesis throughout a number of broken bases and is recruited to DNA lesions by proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Previous research have proven that PCNA is regulated by ubiquitination. “The addition of a single ubiquitin molecule at lysine residue 164 (K164) of PCNA facilitates the recruitment and retention of TLS polymerases to damage sites, but the structural basis of the interaction between these polymerases and ubiquitinated PCNA is poorly understood,” says structural biologist Alfredo De Biasio from KAUST.

De Biasio’s group has been collaborating with the laboratory led by Samir Hamdan, an knowledgeable in single-molecule evaluation of human DNA replication, since 2018. They have been utilizing cryo-EM to research the three-dimensional construction and performance of key protein complexes concerned in DNA replication and restore.

Their newest research describes cryo-EM reconstructions of full-length human PolOk sure to DNA, an incoming nucleotide, and unmodified PCNA or mono-ubiquitylated PCNA, at near-atomic decision. They discovered that within the absence of DNA, the construction of PolOk sure to PCNA is extremely versatile, suggesting that binding to DNA is required to type a inflexible and energetic advanced.

Muhammad Tehseen, a senior researcher in Hamdan’s group and the co-lead writer of the research, has carried out key useful research elucidating how PCNA ubiquitination modulates the exercise of PolOk.

“Our data provide a structural framework to explain how PCNA recruits a Y-family TLS polymerase to sites of DNA damage,” Tehseen explains. Because of the excessive diploma of area conservation between Y-family polymerases, a few of the structural options noticed within the PolOk-DNA-PCNA advanced are more likely to apply to different TLS polymerase complexes.

“By understanding the interactions between the proteins forming these complexes and how they are regulated, we can identify ways to reduce or increase their function for medical applications,” he concludes.

Stitching together the structure of the DNA replication toolbelt

More info:
Claudia Lancey et al, Cryo-EM construction of human Pol κ sure to DNA and mono-ubiquitylated PCNA, Nature Communications (2021). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-26251-6

DNA replication beneath the microscope (2021, November 22)
retrieved 22 November 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-11-dna-replication-microscope.html

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