BACKGROUND: Restriction and modification enzymes typically recognise short DNA sequences of between two and eight bases in length. Understanding the mechanism of this recognition represents a significant challenge that we begin to address for the BsaHI restriction-modification system, which recognises the six base sequence GRCGYC.
RESULTS: The DNA sequences of the genes for the BsaHI methyltransferase, bsaHIM, and restriction endonuclease, bsaHIR, have been determined (GenBank accession #EU386360), cloned and expressed in E. coli. Both the restriction endonuclease and methyltransferase enzymes share significant similarity with a group of 6 other enzymes comprising the restriction-modification systems HgiDI and HgiGI and the putative HindVP, NlaCORFDP, NpuORFC228P and SplZORFNP restriction-modification systems. A sequence alignment of these homologues shows that their amino acid sequences are largely conserved and highlights several motifs of interest. We target one such conserved motif, reading SPERRFD, at the C-terminal end of the bsaHIR gene. A mutational analysis of these amino acids indicates that the motif is crucial for enzymatic activity. Sequence alignment of the methyltransferase gene reveals a short motif within the target recognition domain that is conserved among enzymes recognising the same sequences. Thus, this motif may be used as a diagnostic tool to define the recognition sequences of the cytosine C5 methyltransferases.
CONCLUSION: We have cloned and sequenced the BsaHI restriction and modification enzymes. We have identified a region of the R. BsaHI enzyme that is crucial for its activity. Analysis of the amino acid sequence of the BsaHI methyltransferase enzyme led us to propose two new motifs that can be used in the diagnosis of the recognition sequence of the cytosine C5-methyltransferases.
- Amino Acid Motifs
- Amino Acid Sequence
- Cloning, Molecular
- DNA Restriction Enzymes
- DNA Restriction-Modification Enzymes
- DNA-Cytosine Methylases
- Geobacillus stearothermophilus
- Molecular Sequence Data
- Protein Biosynthesis
- Sequence Alignment
- Transcription, Genetic