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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Apr 19;113(16):E2296-305. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1514666113. Epub 2016 Mar 31.

Twist-open mechanism of DNA damage recognition by the Rad4/XPC nucleotide excision repair complex.

Author information

1
Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607;
2
Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607;
3
Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607; jhmin@uic.edu ansari@uic.edu.
4
Department of Physics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607; Department of Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 jhmin@uic.edu ansari@uic.edu.

Abstract

DNA damage repair starts with the recognition of damaged sites from predominantly normal DNA. In eukaryotes, diverse DNA lesions from environmental sources are recognized by the xeroderma pigmentosum C (XPC) nucleotide excision repair complex. Studies of Rad4 (radiation-sensitive 4; yeast XPC ortholog) showed that Rad4 "opens" up damaged DNA by inserting a β-hairpin into the duplex and flipping out two damage-containing nucleotide pairs. However, this DNA lesion "opening" is slow (˜5-10 ms) compared with typical submillisecond residence times per base pair site reported for various DNA-binding proteins during 1D diffusion on DNA. To address the mystery as to how Rad4 pauses to recognize lesions during diffusional search, we examine conformational dynamics along the lesion recognition trajectory using temperature-jump spectroscopy. Besides identifying the ˜10-ms step as the rate-limiting bottleneck towards opening specific DNA site, we uncover an earlier ˜100- to 500-μs step that we assign to nonspecific deformation (unwinding/"twisting") of DNA by Rad4. The β-hairpin is not required to unwind or to overcome the bottleneck but is essential for full nucleotide-flipping. We propose that Rad4 recognizes lesions in a step-wise "twist-open" mechanism, in which preliminary twisting represents Rad4 interconverting between search and interrogation modes. Through such conformational switches compatible with rapid diffusion on DNA, Rad4 may stall preferentially at a lesion site, offering time to open DNA. This study represents the first direct observation, to our knowledge, of dynamical DNA distortions during search/interrogation beyond base pair breathing. Submillisecond interrogation with preferential stalling at cognate sites may be common to various DNA-binding proteins.

KEYWORDS:

DNA damage recognition; DNA unwinding dynamics; temperature-jump perturbation; time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy; xeroderma pigmentosum

PMID:
27035942
PMCID:
PMC4843471
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1514666113
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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