DNA polymerase β is a 39 kDa enzyme that is a major component of Base Excision Repair in human cells. The enzyme comprises two major domains, a 31 kDa domain responsible for the polymerase activity and an 8 kDa domain, which bind ssDNA and has a deoxyribose phosphate (dRP) lyase activity. DNA polymerase β was shown to be phosphorylated in vitro with protein kinase C (PKC) at serines 44 and 55 (S44 and S55), resulting in loss of its polymerase enzymic activity, but not its ability to bind ssDNA. In this study, we investigate the potential phosphorylation-induced structural changes for DNA polymerase β using molecular dynamics. The simulations show drastic conformational changes of the polymerase structure as a result of S44 phosphorylation. Phosphorylation-induced conformational changes transform the closed (active) enzyme structure into an open one. Further analysis of the results points to a key hydrogen bond and newly formed salt bridges as potential drivers of these structural fluctuations. The changes observed with S44/55 and S55 phosphorylation were less dramatic than S44 and the integrity of the H-bond was not compromised. Thus the phosphorylation of S44 is likely the major contributor to structural fluctuations that lead to loss of enzymatic activity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
- Materials Chemistry