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Frederick, MD, United States

Stagno J.R.,Macromolecular Crystallography Laboratory | Altieri A.S.,Structural Biophysics Laboratory | Altieri A.S.,University of Maryland College Park | Bubunenko M.,Gene Regulation and Chromosome Biology Laboratory | And 6 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research

Processive transcription antitermination requires the assembly of the complete antitermination complex, which is initiated by the formation of the ternary NusB-NusE-BoxA RNA complex. We have elucidated the crystal structure of this complex, demonstrating that the BoxA RNA is composed of 8nt that are recognized by the NusB-NusE heterodimer. Functional biologic and biophysical data support the structural observations and establish the relative significance of key protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions. Further crystallographic investigation of a NusB-NusE-dsRNA complex reveals a heretofore unobserved dsRNA binding site contiguous with the BoxA binding site. We propose that the observed dsRNA represents BoxB RNA, as both single-stranded BoxA and double-stranded BoxB components are present in the classical lambda antitermination site. Combining these data with known interactions amongst antitermination factors suggests a specific model for the assembly of the complete antitermination complex. © 2011 The Author(s). Source

Biswas K.,Center for Cancer Research | Biswas K.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Das R.,Structural Biophysics Laboratory | Eggington J.M.,SALt Inc | And 15 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics

Single-nucleotide substitutions and small in-frame insertions or deletions identified in human breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are frequently classified as variants of unknown clinical significance (VUS) due to the availability of very limited information about their functional consequences. Such variants can most reliably be classified as pathogenic or non-pathogenic based on the data of their co-segregation with breast cancer in affected families and/or their co-occurrence with a pathogenic mutation. Biological assays that examine the effect of variants on protein function can provide important information that can be used in conjunction with available familial data to determine the pathogenicity of VUS. In this report, we have used a previously described mouse embryonic stem (mES) cell-based functional assay to characterize eight BRCA2 VUS that affect highly conserved amino acid residues and map to the N-terminal PALB2-binding or the C-terminal DNA-binding domains. For several of these variants, very limited co-segregation information is available, making it difficult to determine their pathogenicity. Based on their ability to rescue the lethality of Brca2-deficient mES cells and their effect on sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents, homologous recombination and genomic integrity, we have classified these variants as pathogenic or non-pathogenic. In addition, we have used homology-based modeling as a predictive tool to assess the effect of some of these variants on the structural integrity of the C-terminal DNA-binding domain and also generated a knock-in mouse model to analyze the physiological significance of a residue reported to be essential for the interaction of BRCA2 with meiosis-specific recombinase, DMC1. Published by Oxford University Press 2012. Source

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