Conformational Insights into the Mechanism of Acetylaminofluorene-dG-Induced Frameshift Mutations in the NarI Mutational Hotspot
Lifang Xu, Bongsup P. Cho
Chemical Research in Toxicology
Frameshift mutagenesis encompasses the gain or loss of DNA base pairs, resulting in altered genetic outcomes. The NarI restriction site sequence 5′-G1G2CG3CX-3′ in Escherichia coli is a well-known mutational hotspot, in which lesioning of acetylaminofluorene (AAF) at G3* induces a greater −2 deletion frequency than that at other guanine sites. Its mutational efficiency is modulated by the nature of the nucleotide in the X position (C ∼ A > G ≫ T). Here, we conducted a series of polymerase-free solution experiments that examine the conformational and thermodynamic basis underlying the propensity of adducted G3 to form a slipped mutagenic intermediate (SMI) and its sequence dependence during translesion synthesis (TLS). Instability of the AAF-dG3:dC pair at the replication fork promoted slippage to form a G*C bulge-out SMI structure, consisting of S- (“lesion stacked”) and B-SMI (“lesion exposed”) conformations, with conformational rigidity increasing as a function of primer elongation. We found greater stability of the S- compared to the B-SMI conformer throughout TLS. The dependence of their population ratios was determined by the 3′-next flanking base X at fully elongated bulge structures, with 59% B/41% S and 86% B/14% S for the dC and dT series, respectively. These results indicate the importance of direct interactions of the hydrophobic AAF lesion with the 3′-next flanking base pair and its stacking fit within the −2 bulge structure. A detailed conformational understanding of the SMI structures and their sequence dependence may provide a useful model for DNA polymerase complexes.
Circular dichroism, Thermodynamics, Protein folding, Pharmaceutical, Biochemistry