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Mutat Res. 2007 Jun 1;619(1-2):9-15. Epub 2007 Feb 2.

Molybdenum cofactor-dependent resistance to N-hydroxylated base analogs in Escherichia coli is independent of MobA function.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


Lack of molybdenum cofactor (MoCo) in Escherichia coli and related microorganisms was found to cause hypersensitivity to certain N-hydroxylated base analogs, such as HAP (6-N-hydroxylaminopurine). This observation has lead to a previous proposal that E. coli contains a molybdoenzyme capable of detoxifying such N-hydroxylated analogs. Here, we show that, unexpectedly, deletion of all known or putative molybdoenzymes in E. coli failed to reveal any base-analog sensitivity, suggesting that a novel type of MoCo-dependent activity is involved. Further, we establish that protection against the analogs does not require the common molybdopterin guanine-dinucleotide (MGD) form of the cofactor, but instead the guanosine monophosphate (GMP)-free version of MoCo (MPT) is sufficient.

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