Karl-Peter Hopfner

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To clarify the key role of Rad50 in DNA double-strand break repair (DSBR), we biochemically and structurally characterized ATP-bound and ATP-free Rad50 catalytic domain (Rad50cd) from Pyrococcus furiosus. Rad50cd displays ATPase activity plus ATP-controlled dimerization and DNA binding activities. Rad50cd crystal structures identify probable protein and DNA(More)
To clarify functions of the Mre11/Rad50 (MR) complex in DNA double-strand break repair, we report Pyrococcus furiosus Mre11 crystal structures, revealing a protein phosphatase-like, dimanganese binding domain capped by a unique domain controlling active site access. These structures unify Mre11's multiple nuclease activities in a single endo/exonuclease(More)
To reveal the mechanism of processive strand separation by superfamily-2 (SF2) 3'-->5' helicases, we determined apo and DNA-bound crystal structures of archaeal Hel308, a helicase that unwinds lagging strands and is related to human DNA polymerase theta. Our structure captures the duplex-unwinding reaction, shows that initial strand separation does not(More)
Cytosolic DNA arising from intracellular bacterial or viral infections is a powerful pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) that leads to innate immune host defence by the production of type I interferon and inflammatory cytokines. Recognition of cytosolic DNA by the recently discovered cyclic-GMP-AMP (cGAMP) synthase (cGAS) induces the production of(More)
The Mre11 complex (Mre11 Rad50 Nbs1) is central to chromosomal maintenance and functions in homologous recombination, telomere maintenance and sister chromatid association. These functions all imply that the linked binding of two DNA substrates occurs, although the molecular basis for this process remains unknown. Here we present a 2.2 A crystal structure(More)
Detection of cytoplasmic DNA represents one of the most fundamental mechanisms of the innate immune system to sense the presence of microbial pathogens. Moreover, erroneous detection of endogenous DNA by the same sensing mechanisms has an important pathophysiological role in certain sterile inflammatory conditions. The endoplasmic-reticulum-resident protein(More)
The ATPase RIG-I senses viral RNAs that contain 5'-triphosphates in the cytoplasm. It initiates a signaling cascade that activates innate immune response by interferon and cytokine production, providing essential antiviral protection for the host. The mode of RNA 5'-triphosphate sensing by RIG-I remains elusive. We show that the C-terminal regulatory domain(More)
To reveal mechanisms of DNA damage checkpoint initiation, we structurally and biochemically analyzed DisA, a protein that controls a Bacillus subtilis sporulation checkpoint in response to DNA double-strand breaks. We find that DisA forms a large octamer that consists of an array of an uncharacterized type of nucleotide-binding domain along with two(More)
Protein conformation is critically linked to function and often controlled by interactions with regulatory factors. Here we report the selection of camelid-derived single-domain antibodies (nanobodies) that modulate the conformation and spectral properties of the green fluorescent protein (GFP). One nanobody could reversibly reduce GFP fluorescence by a(More)
Structural maintenance of chromosome (SMC) proteins play a central role in higher-order chromosome structure in all kingdoms of life. SMC proteins consist of a long coiled-coil domain that joins an ATP binding cassette (ABC) ATPase domain on one side and a dimerization domain on the other side. SMC proteins require ATP binding or hydrolysis to promote(More)