Small-molecule sensitization of RecBCD helicase-nuclease to a Chi hotspot-activated state.Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Jun 29 [Online ahead of print]NA
Coordinating multiple activities of complex enzymes is critical for life, including transcribing, replicating and repairing DNA. Bacterial RecBCD helicase-nuclease must coordinate DNA unwinding and cutting to repair broken DNA. Starting at a DNA end, RecBCD unwinds DNA with its fast RecD helicase on the 5'-ended strand and its slower RecB helicase on the 3'-ended strand. At Chi hotspots (5' GCTGGTGG 3'), RecB's nuclease cuts the 3'-ended strand and loads RecA strand-exchange protein onto it. We report that a small molecule NSAC1003, a sulfanyltriazolobenzimidazole, mimics Chi sites by sensitizing RecBCD to cut DNA at a Chi-independent position a certain percent of the DNA substrate's length. This percent decreases with increasing NSAC1003 concentration. Our data indicate that NSAC1003 slows RecB relative to RecD and sensitizes it to cut DNA when the leading helicase RecD stops at the DNA end. Two previously described RecBCD mutants altered in the RecB ATP-binding site also have this property, but uninhibited wild-type RecBCD lacks it. ATP and NSAC1003 are competitive; computation docks NSAC1003 into RecB's ATP-binding site, suggesting NSAC1003 acts directly on RecB. NSAC1003 will help elucidate molecular mechanisms of RecBCD-Chi regulation and DNA repair. Similar studies could help elucidate other DNA enzymes with activities coordinated at chromosomal sites.