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J Biol Chem. 2007 May 18;282(20):15114-25. Epub 2007 Mar 20.

Mycobacterial UvrD1 is a Ku-dependent DNA helicase that plays a role in multiple DNA repair events, including double-strand break repair.

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  • 1Molecular Biology, Sloan-Kettering Institute, Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other bacterial pathogens have a Ku-dependent nonhomologous end joining pathway of DNA double-strand break repair. Here we identify mycobacterial UvrD1 as a novel interaction partner for Ku in a genome-wide yeast two-hybrid screen. UvrD1 per se is a vigorous DNA-dependent ATPase but a feeble DNA helicase. Ku stimulates UvrD1 to catalyze ATP-dependent unwinding of 3'-tailed DNAs. UvrD1, Ku, and DNA form a stable ternary complex in the absence of ATP. The Ku binding determinants are located in the distinctive C-terminal segment of UvrD1. A second mycobacterial paralog, UvrD2, is a vigorous Ku-independent DNA helicase. Ablation of UvrD1 sensitizes Mycobacterium smegmatis to killing by ultraviolet and ionizing radiation and to a single chromosomal break generated by I-SceI endonuclease. The physical and functional interactions of bacterial Ku and UvrD1 highlight the potential for cross-talk between components of nonhomologous end joining and nucleotide excision repair pathways.

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