SAGA and SAGA-like SLIK transcriptional coactivators are structurally and biochemically equivalent

Klaudia Adamus, Cyril Reboul, Jarrod Voss, Cheng Huang, Ralf B. Schittenhelm, Sarah N. Le, Andrew M. Ellisdon, Hans Elmlund, Marion Boudes, Dominika Elmlund

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The SAGA-like complex SLIK is a modified version of the Spt- Ada-Gcn5-Acetyltransferase (SAGA) complex. SLIK is formed through C-terminal truncation of the Spt7 SAGAsubunit, causing loss of Spt8, one of the subunits that interacts with the TATAbinding protein (TBP). SLIK and SAGA are both coactivators of RNA polymerase II transcription in yeast, and both SAGA and SLIK perform chromatin modifications. The two complexes have been speculated to uniquely contribute to transcriptional regulation, but their respective contributions are not clear. To investigate, we assayed the chromatinmodifying functions of SAGA and SLIK, revealing identical kinetics on minimal substrates in vitro. We also examined the binding of SAGA and SLIK to TBP and concluded that interestingly, both protein complexes have similar affinity for TBP. Additionally, despite the loss of Spt8 and C-terminus of Spt7 in SLIK,TBPprebound to SLIKis not released in the presence of TATA-box DNA, just like TBP prebound to SAGA. Furthermore, we determined a low-resolution cryo-EM structure of SLIK, revealing a modular architecture identical to SAGA. Finally, we performed a comprehensive study of DNA-binding properties of both coactivators. Purified SAGA and SLIK both associate with ssDNA and dsDNA with high affinity (KD = 10-17 nM), and the binding is sequence-independent. In conclusion, our study shows that the cleavage of Spt7 and the absence of the Spt8 subunit in SLIK neither drive any major conformational differences in its structure comparedwith SAGA, nor significantly affect HAT, DUB, or DNA-binding activities in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100671
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

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