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Title: Attachment site recognition and regulation of directionality by the serine integrases

Serine integrases catalyze the integration of bacteriophage DNA into a host genome by site-specific recombination between ‘attachment sites’ in the phage ( attP ) and the host ( attB ). The reaction is highly directional; the reverse excision reaction between the product attL and attR sites does not occur in the absence of a phage-encoded factor, nor does recombination occur between other pairings of attachment sites. A mechanistic understanding of how these enzymes achieve site-selectivity and directionality has been limited by a lack of structural models. Here, we report the structure of the C-terminal domains of a serine integrase bound to an attP DNA half-site. The structure leads directly to models for understanding how the integrase-bound attP and attB sites differ, why these enzymes preferentially form attP × attB synaptic complexes to initiate recombination, and how attL × attR recombination is prevented. In these models, different domain organizations on attP vs. attB half-sites allow attachment-site specific interactions to form between integrase subunits via an unusual protruding coiled-coil motif. These interactions are used to preferentially synapse integrase-bound attP and attB and inhibit synapsis of integrase-bound attL and attR . The results provide a structural framework for understanding, testing and engineering serinemore » integrase function.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nucleic Acids Research; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 17
Oxford University Press
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS)
Sponsoring Org:
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Country of Publication:
United States