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Elife ; 112022 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1716085


Methyltransferase like-3 (METTL3) and METTL14 complex transfers a methyl group from S-adenosyl-L-methionine to N6 amino group of adenosine bases in RNA (m6A) and DNA (m6dA). Emerging evidence highlights a role of METTL3-METTL14 in the chromatin context, especially in processes where DNA and RNA are held in close proximity. However, a mechanistic framework about specificity for substrate RNA/DNA and their interrelationship remain unclear. By systematically studying methylation activity and binding affinity to a number of DNA and RNA oligos with different propensities to form inter- or intra-molecular duplexes or single-stranded molecules in vitro, we uncover an inverse relationship for substrate binding and methylation and show that METTL3-METTL14 preferentially catalyzes the formation of m6dA in single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), despite weaker binding affinity to DNA. In contrast, it binds structured RNAs with high affinity, but methylates the target adenosine in RNA (m6A) much less efficiently than it does in ssDNA. We also show that METTL3-METTL14-mediated methylation of DNA is largely restricted by structured RNA elements prevalent in long noncoding and other cellular RNAs.

DNA Methylation/physiology , Methyltransferases/metabolism , DNA, Single-Stranded/metabolism , Deoxyadenosines/metabolism , Humans , RNA/chemistry , RNA/metabolism
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3287, 2021 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253936


The SARS-CoV-2 nsp16/nsp10 enzyme complex modifies the 2'-OH of the first transcribed nucleotide of the viral mRNA by covalently attaching a methyl group to it. The 2'-O methylation of the first nucleotide converts the status of mRNA cap from Cap-0 to Cap-1, and thus, helps the virus evade immune surveillance in host cells. Here, we report two structures of nsp16/nsp10 representing pre- and post-release states of the RNA product (Cap-1). We observe overall widening of the enzyme upon product formation, and an inward twisting motion in the substrate binding region upon product release. These conformational changes reset the enzyme for the next round of catalysis. The structures also identify a unique binding mode and the importance of a divalent metal ion for 2'-O methylation. We also describe underlying structural basis for the perturbed enzymatic activity of a clinical variant of SARS-CoV-2, and a previous SARS-CoV outbreak strain.

Magnesium/chemistry , RNA Caps/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Binding Sites , Biocatalysis , Cloning, Molecular , Crystallography, X-Ray , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Humans , Magnesium/metabolism , Methylation , Methyltransferases , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , RNA Caps/chemistry , RNA Caps/genetics , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , S-Adenosylmethionine/chemistry , S-Adenosylmethionine/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Substrate Specificity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/genetics
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3718, 2020 07 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-680541


The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19 illness, has caused millions of infections worldwide. In SARS coronaviruses, the non-structural protein 16 (nsp16), in conjunction with nsp10, methylates the 5'-end of virally encoded mRNAs to mimic cellular mRNAs, thus protecting the virus from host innate immune restriction. We report here the high-resolution structure of a ternary complex of SARS-CoV-2 nsp16 and nsp10 in the presence of cognate RNA substrate analogue and methyl donor, S-adenosyl methionine (SAM). The nsp16/nsp10 heterodimer is captured in the act of 2'-O methylation of the ribose sugar of the first nucleotide of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA. We observe large conformational changes associated with substrate binding as the enzyme transitions from a binary to a ternary state. This induced fit model provides mechanistic insights into the 2'-O methylation of the viral mRNA cap. We also discover a distant (25 Å) ligand-binding site unique to SARS-CoV-2, which can alternatively be targeted, in addition to RNA cap and SAM pockets, for antiviral development.

Methyltransferases/chemistry , RNA Caps/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Models, Chemical , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , S-Adenosylmethionine/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism , X-Ray Diffraction