Structural and functional characterization of the budding yeast Mus81-Mms4 complex
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mms4 and Mus81 proteins are required for repairing DNA alkylation damage, but not damage caused by ionizing radiations. Previous studies have demonstrated that Mms4 and Mus81 form a specific complex in vivo, which functions as an endonuclease specific for branched DNA molecules. In an effort to further understand the role of the Mus81-Mms4 complex in vivo, the structural and functional characteristics of this complex were investigated in this study. The epistatic analysis revealed that RAD52 was epistatic to MMS4 with respect to killing by methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), suggesting that MMS4 is involved in the RAD52 dependent homologous recombinational repair pathway. However, the mms4 rad51, mms4 rad54 and mms4 rad50 double mutants showed more sensitivity to MMS than either corresponding single gene disruptant. Since Rad51 and Rad54 are required to form the Holliday junction during recombinational repair pathway, it is unlikely that the Mus81-Mms4 complex functions as a Holliday junction resolvase in vivo. The role of MMS4 in DNA damage induced mutagenesis has been investigated. Deletion of MMS4 had no obvious effects on damage-induced basepair mutations, but increased frame-shift mutations by 3 fold when the yeast cells were treated with MMS. This suggests that the Mus81-Mms4 complex plays a role in limiting the damage-induced frame-shift mutagenesis. Through a yeast two-hybrid assay, Mus81 and Mms4 have been demonstrated to form a stable and specific complex in vivo. This result is consistent with previous studies. To localize the domains of the Mms4 and Mus81 proteins involved in herterodimer formation, a series of deletion mutants were constructed for the yeast two-hybrid assay. The Mus81-binding domain of Mms4 was mapped to the extreme C-terminal region between amino acids 598-691. The Mms4-binding domain of Mus81 was mapped to a domain between amino acids 527-632. The results from co-immunoprecipitation experiment were consistent with those from the yeast two-hybrid assay. The Mms4-1 (Gly173Arg) protein was found to lose its interaction with Mus81, and this kind of amino acid substitution is very likely to alter the three-dimension structure of the protein. Thus we hypothesize that the three-dimensional structure is also important for Mms4 to interact with Mus81. By studies on green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion proteins and their subcellular localization, we demonstrated that Mms4 and Mus81 are nuclear proteins. When the putative nuclear localization sequence 1 (residues 244-263) in Mms4 was deleted, the truncated protein lost the ability to enter the nucleus. On the contrary, deletion of the putative nuclear localization sequence 2 (residues 539-555) had no effect on the localization of the protein. Furthermore, the nuclear localization of Mus81 was proven to be independent of its interaction with Mms4, and the N-terminal half of Mus81 is necessary and sufficient for its localization to the nucleus.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentMicrobiology and Immunology
ProgramMicrobiology and Immunology
CommitteeLoh, Lambert; Deneer, Harry
Copyright DateJune 2003
yeast two-hybrid assay