Summary Transposons are ubiquitous genetic elements that drive genome rearrangements, evolution, and the spread of infectious disease and drug-resistance. Many transposons, such as Mu, Tn7, and IS21, require regulatory AAA+ ATPases for function. We use X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy to show that the ATPase subunit of IS21, IstB, assembles into a clamshell-shaped decamer that sandwiches DNA between two helical pentamers of ATP-associated AAA+ domains, sharply bending the duplex into a 180° U-turn. Biochemical studies corroborate key features of the structure and further show that the IS21 transposase, IstA, recognizes the IstB•DNA complex and promotes its disassembly by stimulating ATP hydrolysis. Collectively, these studies reveal a distinct manner of higher-order assembly and client engagement by a AAA+ ATPase and suggest a mechanistic model where IstB binding and subsequent DNA bending primes a selected insertion site for efficient transposition.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)