Cryo-EM Structure of AAV2 Rep68 bound to integration site AAVS1: Insights into the mechanism of DNA melting

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Cryo-EM Structure of AAV2 Rep68 bound to integration site AAVS1: Insights into the mechanism of DNA melting

Authors

Jaiswal, R.; Santosh, V.; Braud, B.; Washington, A.; Escalante, C. R.

Abstract

The Rep68 protein from Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) is a multifunctional SF3 helicase that performs most of the DNA transactions required for the viral life cycle. During AAV DNA replication, Rep68 assembles at the origin and catalyzes the DNA melting and nicking reactions during the hairpin rolling replication process to complete the second-strand synthesis of the AAV genome. Here, we report the Cryo-EM structures of Rep68 bound to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) containing the sequence of the AAVS1 integration site in different nucleotide-bound states. In the apo state, Rep68 forms a heptameric complex around DNA, with three Origin Binding Domains (OBDs) bound to the Rep Binding Site (RBS) sequence and three other OBDs forming transient dimers with them. The AAA+ domains form an open ring with no interactions between subunits and with DNA. We hypothesize the heptameric quaternary structure is necessary to load onto dsDNA. In the ATP{gamma}S-bound state, a subset of three subunits binds the nucleotide, undergoing a large conformational change, inducing the formation of intersubunit interactions interaction and interaction with three consecutive DNA phosphate groups. Moreover, the induced conformational change positions three phenylalanine residues to come in close contact with the DNA backbone, producing a distortion in the DNA. We propose that the phenylalanine residues can potentially act as a hydrophobic wedge in the DNA melting process.

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