Single stranded DNA annealing is a conserved activity of telomere resolvases

TitleSingle stranded DNA annealing is a conserved activity of telomere resolvases
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsMcGrath SL, Huang SH, Kobryn K
JournalPLoS One
Start Pagee0246212
Date Published02/2021
Keywordsagrobacterium, borrelia, dna annealing, dna replication, glutamate, telomeres

Bacterial species of the genera Agrobacterium and Borrelia possess chromosomes terminated by hairpin telomeres. Replication produces dimeric replication intermediates fused via replicated telomere junctions. A specialized class of enzymes, referred to as telomere resolvases, promotes the resolution of the replicated intermediate into linear monomers terminated by hairpin telomeres. Telomere resolution is catalyzed via DNA cleavage and rejoining events mechanistically similar to those promoted by topoisomerase-IB and tyrosine recombinase enzymes. Examination of the borrelial telomere resolvase, ResT, revealed unanticipated multifunctionality; aside from its expected telomere resolution activity ResT possessed a singled-stranded DNA (ssDNA) annealing activity that extended to both naked ssDNA and ssDNA complexed with its cognate single-stranded DNA binding protein (SSB). At present, the role this DNA annealing activity plays in vivo remains unknown. We have demonstrated here that single-stranded DNA annealing is also a conserved property of the agrobacterial telomere resolvase, TelA. This activity in TelA similarly extends to both naked ssDNA and ssDNA bound by its cognate SSB. TelA's annealing activity was shown to stem from the N-terminal domain; removal of this domain abolished annealing without affecting telomere resolution. Further, independent expression of the N-terminal domain of TelA produced a functional annealing protein. We suggest that the apparent conservation of annealing activity in two telomere resolvases, from distantly related bacterial species, implies a role for this activity in hairpin telomere metabolism. Our demonstration of the separation of the telomere resolution and annealing activities of TelA provides a platform for future experiments aimed at identifying the role DNA annealing performs in vivo.