The iron-sulphur cluster in human DNA2 is required for all biochemical activities of DNA2.Commun Biol. 2020 Jun 23; 3(1):322.CB
The nuclease/helicase DNA2 plays important roles in DNA replication, repair and processing of stalled replication forks. DNA2 contains an iron-sulphur (FeS) cluster, conserved in eukaryotes and in a related bacterial nuclease. FeS clusters in DNA maintenance proteins are required for structural integrity and/or act as redox-sensors. Here, we demonstrate that loss of the FeS cluster affects binding of human DNA2 to specific DNA substrates, likely through a conformational change that distorts the central DNA binding tunnel. Moreover, we show that the FeS cluster is required for DNA2's nuclease, helicase and ATPase activities. Our data also establish that oxidation of DNA2 impairs DNA binding in vitro, an effect that is reversible upon reduction. Unexpectedly, though, this redox-regulation is independent of the presence of the FeS cluster. Together, our study establishes an important structural role for the FeS cluster in human DNA2 and discovers a redox-regulatory mechanism to control DNA binding.