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Characterization of a triad of genes in cyanophage S-2L sufficient to replace adenine by 2-aminoadenine in bacterial DNA

Abstract : Cyanophage S-2L is known to profoundly alter the biophysical properties of its DNA by replacing all adenines (A) with 2-aminoadenines (Z), which still pair with thymines but with a triple hydrogen bond. It was recently demonstrated that a homologue of adenylosuccinate synthetase (PurZ) and a dATP triphosphohydrolase (DatZ) are two important pieces of the metabolism of 2-aminoadenine, participating in the synthesis of ZTGC-DNA. Here, we determine that S-2L PurZ can use either dATP or ATP as a source of energy, thereby also depleting the pool of nucleotides in dATP. Furthermore, we identify a conserved gene ( mazZ) located between purZ and datZ genes in S-2L and related phage genomes. We show that it encodes a (d)GTP-specific diphosphohydrolase, thereby providing the substrate of PurZ in the 2-aminoadenine synthesis pathway. High-resolution crystal structures of S-2L PurZ and MazZ with their respective substrates provide a rationale for their specificities. The Z-cluster made of these three genes – datZ , mazZ and purZ – was expressed in E. coli , resulting in a successful incorporation of 2-aminoadenine in the bacterial chromosomal and plasmidic DNA. This work opens the possibility to study synthetic organisms containing ZTGC-DNA.
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https://hal-pasteur.archives-ouvertes.fr/pasteur-03327945
Contributor : Pierre Alexandre Kaminski <>
Submitted on : Friday, August 27, 2021 - 4:47:08 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, August 31, 2021 - 11:08:02 AM

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Dariusz Czernecki, Frédéric Bonhomme, Pierre-Alexandre Kaminski, Marc Delarue. Characterization of a triad of genes in cyanophage S-2L sufficient to replace adenine by 2-aminoadenine in bacterial DNA. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 12 (1), pp.4710. ⟨10.1038/s41467-021-25064-x⟩. ⟨pasteur-03327945⟩

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