Structural basis for effects of CpA modifications on C/EBP beta binding of DNA.Yang, J., Horton, J.R., Wang, D., Ren, R., Li, J., Sun, D., Huang, Y., Zhang, X., Blumenthal, R.M., Cheng, X.
(2018) Nucleic Acids Res. --: --
- PubMed: 30566668
- DOI: 10.1093/nar/gky1264
- Primary Citation of Related Structures:
- PubMed Abstract:
CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins (C/EBPs) regulate gene expression in a variety of cells/tissues/organs, during a range of developmental stages, under both physiological and pathological conditions. C/EBP-related transcription factors have a consensus ...
CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins (C/EBPs) regulate gene expression in a variety of cells/tissues/organs, during a range of developmental stages, under both physiological and pathological conditions. C/EBP-related transcription factors have a consensus binding specificity of 5'-TTG-CG-CAA-3', with a central CpG/CpG and two outer CpA/TpG dinucleotides. Methylation of the CpG and CpA sites generates a DNA element with every pyrimidine having a methyl group in the 5-carbon position (thymine or 5-methylcytosine (5mC)). To understand the effects of both CpG and CpA modification on a centrally-important transcription factor, we show that C/EBPβ binds the methylated 8-bp element with modestly-increased (2.4-fold) binding affinity relative to the unmodified cognate sequence, while cytosine hydroxymethylation (particularly at the CpA sites) substantially decreased binding affinity (36-fold). The structure of C/EBPβ DNA binding domain in complex with methylated DNA revealed that the methyl groups of the 5mCpA/TpG make van der Waals contacts with Val285 in C/EBPβ. Arg289 recognizes the central 5mCpG by forming a methyl-Arg-G triad, and its conformation is constrained by Val285 and the 5mCpG methyl group. We substituted Val285 with Ala (V285A) in an Ala-Val dipeptide, to mimic the conserved Ala-Ala in many members of the basic leucine-zipper family of transcription factors, important in gene regulation, cell proliferation and oncogenesis. The V285A variant demonstrated a 90-fold binding preference for methylated DNA (particularly 5mCpA methylation) over the unmodified sequence. The smaller side chain of Ala285 permits Arg289 to adopt two alternative conformations, to interact in a similar fashion with either the central 5mCpG or the TpG of the opposite strand. Significantly, the best-studied cis-regulatory elements in RNA polymerase II promoters and enhancers have variable sequences corresponding to the central CpG or reduced to a single G:C base pair, but retain a conserved outer CpA sequence. Our analyses suggest an important modification-dependent CpA recognition by basic leucine-zipper transcription factors.
Center for Epigenetics & Disease Prevention, Institute of Biosciences and Technology, College of Medicine, Texas A&M University, Houston, TX 77030, USA.,Department of Biochemistry, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.,Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.,Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, and Program in Bioinformatics, The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Toledo, OH 43614, USA.