The C-terminal domain of yeast high mobility group protein HMO1 mediates lateral protein accretion and in-phase DNA bending

Lijuan Xiao, Louisiana State University
Alan M. Williams, Louisiana State University
Anne Grove, Louisiana State University


The Saccharomyces cerevisiae high mobility group protein HMO1 has two DNA binding domains, box A and box B, and a lysine-rich C-terminal extension. Among other functions, HMO1 has been implicated as a component of the RNA polymerase I transcription machinery. We report here that HMO1 promotes DNA apposition as evidenced by its stimulation of end-joining in the presence of T4 DNA ligase. Analysis of truncated HMO1 variants shows that enhanced DNA end-joining requires the C-terminal domain but that box A is dispensable. The efficiency of joining DNA ends with different nucleotide content parallels that of DNA ligase, and optimal ligation efficiency is attained when DNA is effectively saturated with protein, implying that HMO1 binds internal sites in preference to DNA ends. Removal of the C-terminal tail does not attenuate the self-association characteristic of HMO1 but alters the stoichiometry of binding and prevents intramolecular DNA cyclization. This suggests that the C-terminal domain mediates an accretion of HMO1 on DNA that causes in-phase DNA bending and that binding of HMO1 lacking the C-terminal domain results in out-of-phase bending. Taken together, our results show that HMO1 shares with mammalian HMGB proteins the ability to promote DNA association. Notably, the C-terminal domain mediates both DNA end-joining and an accretion of multiple HMO1 protomers on duplex DNA that produces in-phase DNA bending. This mode of binding is reminiscent of that proposed for the mammalian RNA polymerase I transcription factor UBF. © 2010 American Chemical Society.