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Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 Dec 12. doi: 10.1093/nar/gky1244. [Epub ahead of print]

Intrinsically disordered regions regulate both catalytic and non-catalytic activities of the MutLα mismatch repair complex.

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Department of Molecular Biosciences and Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.
Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.
Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


Intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) are present in at least 30% of the eukaryotic proteome and are enriched in chromatin-associated proteins. Using a combination of genetics, biochemistry and single-molecule biophysics, we characterize how IDRs regulate the functions of the yeast MutLα (Mlh1-Pms1) mismatch repair (MMR) complex. Shortening or scrambling the IDRs in both subunits ablates MMR in vivo. Mlh1-Pms1 complexes with shorter IDRs that disrupt MMR retain wild-type DNA binding affinity but are impaired for diffusion on both naked and nucleosome-coated DNA. Moreover, the IDRs also regulate the adenosine triphosphate hydrolysis and nuclease activities that are encoded in the structured N- and C-terminal domains of the complex. This combination of phenotypes underlies the catastrophic MMR defect seen with the mutant MutLα in vivo. More broadly, this work highlights an unanticipated multi-functional role for IDRs in regulating both facilitated diffusion on chromatin and nucleolytic processing of a DNA substrate.


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