Residues in the RecQ C-terminal Domain of the Human Werner Syndrome Helicase are Involved in Unwinding G-quadruplex DNA
Amit Ketkar, Markus Voehler, Tresor Mukiza, Robert L. Eoff
The Journal of Biological Chemistry
The structural and biophysical properties typically associated with G-quadruplex (G4) structures renders them a significant block for DNA replication, which must be overcome for cell division to occur. The Werner syndrome protein (WRN) is a RecQ-family helicase that has been implicated in the efficient processing of G4 DNA structures. The aim of the current study was to identify the residues of WRN involved in the binding and ATPase-driven unwinding of G4 DNA. Using a c-Myc G4 DNA model sequence and recombinant WRN, we have determined that the RecQ-C-terminal (RQC) domain of WRN imparts a 2-fold preference for binding to G4 DNA relative to non-G4 DNA substrates. NMR studies identified residues involved specifically in interactions with G4 DNA. Three of the amino acids in the WRN RQC domain that exhibited the largest G4-specific changes in NMR signal were then mutated alone or in combination. Mutating individual residues implicated in G4 binding had a modest effect on WRN binding to DNA, decreasing the preference for G4 substrates by ~25%. Mutating two G4-interacting residues (T1024G and T1086G) abrogated preferential binding of WRN to G4 DNA. Very modest decreases in G4 DNA-stimulated ATPase activity were observed for the mutant enzymes. Most strikingly, G4 unwinding by WRN was inhibited ~50% for all three point mutants and >90% for the WRN double mutant (T1024G/T1086G) relative to normal B-form dsDNA substrates. Our work has helped to identify residues in the WRN RQC domain that are involved specifically in the interaction with G4 DNA.
Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Biochemistry