Functional Relationship of ATP Hydrolysis, Presynaptic Filament Stability, and Homologous DNA Pairing Activity of the Human Meiotic Recombinase DMC1 [Enzymology]

June 18th, 2015 by Chang, H.-Y., Liao, C.-Y., Su, G.-C., Lin, S.-W., Wang, H.-W., Chi, P.

DMC1 and RAD51 are conserved recombinases that catalyze homologous recombination (HR). DMC1 and RAD51 share similar properties in DNA binding, DNA-stimulated ATP hydrolysis, and catalysis of homologous DNA strand exchange. A large body of evidence indicates that attenuation of ATP hydrolysis leads to stabilization of the RAD51-ssDNA presynaptic filament and enhancement of DNA strand exchange. However, the functional relationship of ATPase activity, presynaptic filament stability, and DMC1-mediated homologous DNA strand exchange has remained largely unexplored. To address this important question, we have constructed several mutant variants of human DMC1 and characterized them biochemically to gain mechanistic insights. Two mutations, K132R and D223N, that change key residues in the Walker A and B nucleotide binding motifs ablate ATP binding and render DMC1 inactive. On the other hand, the nucleotide-binding cap D317K mutant binds ATP normally but shows significantly attenuated ATPase activity and, accordingly, forms a highly stable presynaptic filament. Surprisingly, unlike RAD51, presynaptic filament stabilization achieved via ATP hydrolysis attenuation does not lead to any enhancement of DMC1-catalyzed homologous DNA pairing and strand exchange. This conclusion is further supported by examining wild-type DMC1 with non-hydrolyzable ATP analogues. Thus, our results reveal an important mechanistic difference between RAD51 and DMC1.
  • Posted in Journal of Biological Chemistry, Publications
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