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Nucleic Acids Res. 2002 Jun 1;30(11):2492-500.

The C-terminal region of Escherichia coli UvrC contributes to the flexibility of the UvrABC nucleotide excision repair system.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Gorlaeus Laboratories, Leiden University, Einsteinweg 55, PO Box 9502, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.


Nucleotide excision repair in Escherichia coli involves formation of the UvrB-DNA complex and subsequent DNA incisions on either site of the damage by UvrC. In this paper, we studied the incision of substrates with different damages in varying sequence contexts. We show that there is not always a correlation between the incision efficiency and the stability of the UvrB-DNA complex. Both stable and unstable UvrB-DNA complexes can be efficiently incised. However some lesions that give rise to stable UvrB-DNA complexes do result in a very low incision. We present evidence that this poor incision is due to sterical hindrance of the damage itself. In its C-terminal region UvrC contains two helix-hairpin-helix (HhH) motifs. Mutational analysis shows that these motifs constitute one functional unit, probably folded as one structural unit; the (HhH)2 domain. This (HhH)2 domain was previously shown to be important for the 5' incision on a substrate containing a (cis-Pt).GG adduct, but not for 3' incision. Here we show that, mainly depending on the sequence context of the lesion, the (HhH)2 domain can be important for 3' and/or 5' incision. We propose that the (HhH)2 domain stabilises specific DNA structures required for the two incisions, thereby contributing to the flexibility of the UvrABC repair system.

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