National Center for
1U3E: Dna Binding And Cleavage By The Hnh Homing Endonuclease I-Hmui
J. Mol. Biol. (2004) 342 p.43-56
The structure of I-HmuI, which represents the last family of homing endonucleases without a defining crystallographic structure, has been determined in complex with its DNA target. A series of diverse protein structural domains and motifs, contacting sequential stretches of nucleotide bases, are distributed along the DNA target. I-HmuI contains an N-terminal domain with a DNA-binding surface found in the I-PpoI homing endonuclease and an associated HNH/N active site found in the bacterial colicins, and a C-terminal DNA-binding domain previously observed in the I-TevI homing endonuclease. The combination and exchange of these features between protein families indicates that the genetic mobility associated with homing endonucleases extends to the level of independent structural domains. I-HmuI provides an unambiguous structural connection between the His-Cys box endonucleases and the bacterial colicins, supporting the hypothesis that these enzymes diverged from a common ancestral nuclease.