UV oxidation of cyclic AMP receptor protein, a global bacterial gene regulator, decreases DNA binding and cleaves DNA at specific sites

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UV light is a widely-employed, and environmentally-sensitive bactericide but its mechanism of action is not fully defined. Proteins are major chromophores and targets for damage due to their abundance, but the role of proteins in inducing damage to bound DNA, and the effects on DNA-protein interactions is less well characterized. In E. coli (and other Gram-negative bacteria) the cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP/CAP) regulates more than 500 genes. In this study we show that exposure of isolated dimeric CRP-cAMP to UV modifies specific Met, Trp, Tyr, and Pro side-chains, induces inter-protein Tyr63-Tyr41 cross-links, and decreases DNA binding via oxidation of Met114/Pro110 residues in close proximity at the CRP dimer interface. UV exposure also modifies DNA-bound cAMP-CRP, with this resulting in DNA cleavage at specific G/C residues within the sequence bound to CRP, but not at other G/C sites. Oxidation also increases CRP dissociation from DNA. The modifications at the CRP dimer interface, and the site-specific DNA strand cleavage are proposed to occur via oxidation of two species Met residues (Met114 and Met189, respectively) to reactive persulfoxides that damage neighbouring amino acids and DNA bases. These data suggest that modification to CRP, and bound DNA, contributes to UV sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3106
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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