The human checkpoint clamp Rad9-Hus1-Rad1 (9-1-1) is loaded onto chromatin by its loader complex, Rad17-RFC, following DNA damage. The 120-amino acid (aa) stretch of the Rad9 C terminus (C-tail) is unstructured and projects from the core ring structure (CRS). Recent studies showed that 9-1-1 and CRS bind DNA independently of Rad17-RFC. The DNA-binding affinity of mutant 9ΔC-1-1, which lacked the Rad9 C-tail, was much higher than that of wild-type 9-1-1, suggesting that 9-1-1 has intrinsic DNA binding activity that manifests in the absence of the C-tail. C-tail added in trans interacted with CRS and prevented it from binding to DNA. We narrowed down the amino acid sequence in the C-tail necessary for CRS binding to a 15-aa stretch harboring two conserved consecutive phenylalanine residues. We prepared 9-1-1 mutants containing the variant C-tail deficient for CRS binding, and we demonstrated that the mutant form restored DNA binding as efficiently as 9ΔC-1-1. Furthermore, we mapped the sequence necessary for TopBP1 binding within the same 15-aa stretch, demonstrating that TopBP1 and CRS share the same binding region in the C-tail. Indeed, we observed their competitive binding to the C-tail with purified proteins. The importance of interaction between 9-1-1 and TopBP1 for DNA damage signaling suggests that the competitive interactions of TopBP1 and CRS with the C-tail will be crucial for the activation mechanism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology