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J Mol Biol. 1999 Mar 26;287(2):201-9.

Structure of a binary complex of HhaI methyltransferase with S-adenosyl-L-methionine formed in the presence of a short non-specific DNA oligonucleotide.

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Department of Biochemistry, Emory University School of Medicine, 1510 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA, 30322, USA.


We have determined a structure for a complex formed between HhaI methyltransferase (M.HhaI) and S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet) in the presence of a non-specific short oligonucleotide. M.HhaI binds to the non-specific short oligonucleotides in solution. Although no DNA is incorporated in the crystal, AdoMet binds in a primed orientation, identical with that observed in the ternary complex of the enzyme, cognate DNA, and AdoMet or S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine (AdoHcy). This orientation differs from the previously observed unprimed orientation in the M.HhaI-AdoMet binary complex, where the S+-CH3 unit of AdoMet is protected by a favorable cation-pi interaction with Trp41. The structure suggests that the presence of DNA can guide AdoMet into the primed orientation. These results shed new light on the proposed ordered mechanism of binding and explains the stable association between AdoMet and M.HhaI.

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