DNA Sequence Control of Enzyme Filamentation and Activation of the SgrAI Endonuclease

Niloofar Ghadirian, Richard D. Morgan, Nancy C. Horton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Enzyme polymerization (also known as filamentation) has emerged as a new layer of enzyme regulation. SgrAI is a sequence-dependent DNA endonuclease that forms polymeric filaments with enhanced DNA cleavage activity as well as altered DNA sequence specificity. To better understand this unusual regulatory mechanism, full global kinetic modeling of the reaction pathway, including the enzyme filamentation steps, has been undertaken. Prior work with the primary DNA recognition sequence cleaved by SgrAI has shown how the kinetic rate constants of each reaction step are tuned to maximize activation and DNA cleavage while minimizing the extent of DNA cleavage to the host genome. In the current work, we expand on our prior study by now including DNA cleavage of a secondary recognition sequence, to understand how the sequence of the bound DNA modulates filamentation and activation of SgrAI. The work shows that an allosteric equilibrium between low and high activity states is modulated by the sequence of bound DNA, with primary sequences more prone to activation and filament formation, while SgrAI bound to secondary recognition sequences favor the low (and nonfilamenting) state by up to 40-fold. In addition, the degree of methylation of secondary sequences in the host organism, Streptomyces griseus, is now reported for the first time and shows that as predicted, these sequences are left unprotected from the SgrAI endonuclease making sequence specificity critical in this unusual filament-forming enzyme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)326-338
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 6 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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