N6-methyladenosine binding induces a metal-centered rearrangement that activates the human RNA demethylase Alkbh5

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2021-08-18
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Purslow, Jeffrey
Nguyen, Trang
Khatiwada, Balabhadra
Singh, Aayushi
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Venditti, Vincenzo
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Chemistry

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Alkbh5 catalyzes demethylation of the N6-methyladenosine (m6A), an epigenetic mark that controls several physiological processes including carcinogenesis and stem cell differentiation. The activity of Alkbh5 comprises two coupled reactions. The first reaction involves decarboxylation of α-ketoglutarate (αKG) and formation of a Fe4+═O species. This oxyferryl intermediate oxidizes the m6A to reestablish the canonical base. Despite coupling between the two reactions being required for the correct Alkbh5 functioning, the mechanisms linking dioxygen activation to m6A binding are not fully understood. Here, we use solution NMR to investigate the structure and dynamics of apo and holo Alkbh5. We show that binding of m6A to Alkbh5 induces a metal-centered rearrangement of αKG that increases the exposed area of the metal, making it available for binding O2. Our study reveals the molecular mechanisms underlying activation of Alkbh5, therefore opening new perspectives for the design of novel strategies to control gene expression and cancer progression.

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This article is published as Purslow, Jeffrey A., Trang T. Nguyen, Balabhadra Khatiwada, Aayushi Singh, and Vincenzo Venditti. "N6-methyladenosine binding induces a metal-centered rearrangement that activates the human RNA demethylase Alkbh5." Science Advances 7, no. 34 (2021): eabi8215. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abi8215. Posted with permission.

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Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2021
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