Eukaryotic replication origin licensing, activation and timing are influenced by chromatin but a mechanistic understanding is lacking. Using reconstituted nucleosomal DNA replication assays, we assessed the impact of nucleosomes on replication initiation. To generate distinct nucleosomal landscapes, different chromatin-remodeling enzymes (CREs) were used to remodel nucleosomes on origin-DNA templates. Nucleosomal organization influenced two steps of replication initiation: origin licensing and helicase activation. Origin licensing assays showed that local nucleosome positioning enhanced origin specificity and modulated helicase loading by influencing ORC DNA binding. Interestingly, SWI/SNF- and RSC-remodeled nucleosomes were permissive for origin licensing but showed reduced helicase activation. Specific CREs rescued replication of these templates if added prior to helicase activation, indicating a permissive chromatin state must be established during origin licensing to allow efficient origin activation. Our studies show nucleosomes directly modulate origin licensing and activation through distinct mechanisms and provide insights into the regulation of replication initiation by chromatin.
- Stephen P Bell
- David M MacAlpine
- Craig L Peterson
- Ishara F Azmi
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Robert Sclafani, University of Colorado School of Medicine, United States
© 2017, Azmi et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Three-component ParABS partition systems ensure stable inheritance of many bacterial chromosomes and low-copy-number plasmids. ParA localizes to the nucleoid through its ATP-dependent nonspecific DNA-binding activity, whereas centromere-like parS-DNA and ParB form partition complexes that activate ParA-ATPase to drive the system dynamics. The essential parS sequence arrangements vary among ParABS systems, reflecting the architectural diversity of their partition complexes. Here, we focus on the pSM19035 plasmid partition system that uses a ParBpSM of the ribbon-helix-helix (RHH) family. We show that parSpSM with four or more contiguous ParBpSM-binding sequence repeats is required to assemble a stable ParApSM-ParBpSM complex and efficiently activate the ParApSM-ATPase, stimulating complex disassembly. Disruption of the contiguity of the parSpSM sequence array destabilizes the ParApSM-ParBpSM complex and prevents efficient ATPase activation. Our findings reveal the unique architecture of the pSM19035 partition complex and how it interacts with nucleoid-bound ParApSM-ATP.
Electron bifurcation is a fundamental energy conservation mechanism in nature in which two electrons from an intermediate-potential electron donor are split so that one is sent along a high-potential pathway to a high-potential acceptor and the other is sent along a low-potential pathway to a low-potential acceptor. This process allows endergonic reactions to be driven by exergonic ones and is an alternative, less recognized, mechanism of energy coupling to the well-known chemiosmotic principle. The electron-bifurcating [FeFe] hydrogenase from Thermotoga maritima (HydABC) requires both NADH and ferredoxin to reduce protons generating hydrogen. The mechanism of electron bifurcation in HydABC remains enigmatic in spite of intense research efforts over the last few years. Structural information may provide the basis for a better understanding of spectroscopic and functional information. Here, we present a 2.3 Å electron cryo-microscopy structure of HydABC. The structure shows a heterododecamer composed of two independent ‘halves’ each made of two strongly interacting HydABC heterotrimers connected via a [4Fe–4S] cluster. A central electron transfer pathway connects the active sites for NADH oxidation and for proton reduction. We identified two conformations of a flexible iron–sulfur cluster domain: a ‘closed bridge’ and an ‘open bridge’ conformation, where a Zn2+ site may act as a ‘hinge’ allowing domain movement. Based on these structural revelations, we propose a possible mechanism of electron bifurcation in HydABC where the flavin mononucleotide serves a dual role as both the electron bifurcation center and as the NAD+ reduction/NADH oxidation site.