Functional dissection of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Holliday junction resolvase Ydc2: in vivo role in mitochondrial DNA maintenance.
EUR J BIOCHEM
2837 - 2847.
The crystal structure of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Holliday junction resolvase Ydc2 revealed significant structural homology with the Escherichia coli resolvase RuvC but Ydc2 contains a small triple helical bundle that has no equivalent in RuvC. Two of the alpha-helices that form this bundle show homology to a putative DNA-binding motif known as SAP. To investigate the biochemical function of the triple-helix domain, truncated Ydc2 mutants were expressed in E. coli and in fission yeast. Although the truncated proteins retained all amino-acid residues that map to the structural core of RuvC including the catalytic site, deletion of the SAP motif alone or the whole triple-helix domain of Ydc2 resulted in the complete loss of resolvase activity and impaired significantly the binding of Ydc2 to synthetic junctions in vitro . These results are in full agreement with our proposal for a DNA-binding role of the triple-helix motif [Ceschini et al. (2001) EMBO J . 20 , 6601-6611]. The biological effect of Ydc2 on mtDNA in yeast was probed using wild-type and several Ydc2 mutants expressed in Deltaydc2 S. pombe . The truncated mutants were shown to localize exclusively to yeast mitochondria ruling out a possible role of the helical bundle in mitochondrial targeting. Cells that lacked Ydc2 showed a significant depletion of mtDNA content. Plasmids expressing full-length Ydc2 but not the truncated or catalytically inactive Ydc2 mutants could rescue the mtDNA 'phenotype'. These results provide evidence that the Holliday junction resolvase activity of Ydc2 is required for mtDNA transmission and affects mtDNA content in S. pombe .
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