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BslI is a thermostable type II restriction endonuclease with interrupted recognition sequence CCNNNNN/NNGG (/, cleavage position). The BslI restriction-modification system from Bacillus species was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. The system is encoded by three genes: the 2,739-bp BslI methylase gene (bslIM), the bslIRalpha gene, and the bslIRbeta gene. The alpha and beta subunits of BslI can be expressed independently in E. coli in the absence of BslI methylase (M.BslI) protection. BslI endonuclease activity can be reconstituted in vitro by mixing the two subunits together. Gel filtration chromatography and native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis indicated that BslI forms heterodimers (alphabeta), heterotetramers (alpha(2)beta(2)), and possibly oligomers in solution. Two beta subunits can be cross-linked by a chemical cross-linking agent, indicating formation of heterotetramer BslI complex (alpha(2)beta(2)). In DNA mobility shift assays, neither subunit alone can bind DNA. DNA mobility shift activity was detected after mixing the two subunits together. Because of the symmetric recognition sequence of the BslI endonuclease, we propose that its active form is alpha(2)beta(2). M.BslI contains nine conserved motifs of N-4 cytosine DNA methylases within the beta group of aminomethyltransferase. Synthetic duplex deoxyoligonucleotides containing cytosine hemimethylated or fully methylated at N-4 in BslI sites in the first or second cytosine are resistant to BslI digestion. C-5 methylation of the second cytosine on both strands within the recognition sequence also renders the site refractory to BslI digestion. Two putative zinc fingers are found in the alpha subunit of BslI endonuclease.


P C Hsieh, J P Xiao, D O'loane, S Y Xu. Cloning, expression, and purification of a thermostable nonhomodimeric restriction enzyme, BslI. Journal of bacteriology. 2000 Feb;182(4):949-55

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PMID: 10648519

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