1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics
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Structural basis for transcription complex disruption by the Mfd translocase

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Cite this article as: eLife 2021;10:e62117 doi: 10.7554/eLife.62117

Abstract

Transcription-coupled repair (TCR) is a sub-pathway of nucleotide excision repair (NER) that preferentially removes lesions from the template-strand (t-strand) that stall RNA polymerase (RNAP) elongation complexes (EC). Mfd mediates TCR in bacteria by removing the stalled RNAP concealing the lesion and recruiting Uvr(A)BC. We used cryo-electron microscopy to visualize Mfd engaging with a stalled EC and attempting to dislodge the RNAP. We visualized seven distinct Mfd-EC complexes in both ATP and ADP-bound states. The structures explain how Mfd is remodeled from its repressed conformation, how the UvrA-interacting surface of Mfd is hidden during most of the remodeling process to prevent premature engagement with the NER pathway, how Mfd alters the RNAP conformation to facilitate disassembly, and how Mfd forms a processive translocation complex after dislodging the RNAP. Our results reveal an elaborate mechanism for how Mfd kinetically discriminates paused from stalled ECs and disassembles stalled ECs to initiate TCR.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Jin Young Kang

    Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, The Rockefeller University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Eliza Llewellyn

    Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, The Rockefeller University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. James Chen

    Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, The Rockefeller University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Paul D B Olinares

    Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry and Gaseous Ion Chemistry, The Rockefeller University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-3429-6618
  5. Joshua Brewer

    Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, The Rockefeller University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Brian T Chait

    Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry and Gaseous Ion Chemistry, The Rockefeller University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Elizabeth A Campbell

    Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, The Rockefeller University, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Seth A Darst

    Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, The Rockefeller University, New York, United States
    For correspondence
    darst@rockefeller.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-8241-3153

Funding

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (P41 GM109824)

  • Brian T Chait

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (P41 GM103314)

  • Brian T Chait

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (R01 GM114450)

  • Elizabeth A Campbell

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (R35 GM118130)

  • Seth A Darst

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. James M Berger, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: August 14, 2020
  2. Accepted: January 21, 2021
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: January 22, 2021 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: February 4, 2021 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2021, Kang 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.

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