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EMBO J. 1989 Oct;8(10):3121-5.

Molecular cloning of human uracil-DNA glycosylase, a highly conserved DNA repair enzyme.

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  • 1Laboratory of Biotechnology, University of Bergen, Norway.


Uracil-DNA glycosylase is the DNA repair enzyme responsible for the removal of uracil from DNA, and it is present in all organisms investigated. Here we report on the cloning and sequencing of a cDNA encoding the human uracil-DNA glycosylase. The sequences of uracil-DNA glycosylases from yeast, Escherichia coli, herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2, and homologous genes from varicella-zoster and Epstein-Barr viruses are known. It is shown in this report that the predicted amino acid sequence of the human uracil-DNA glycosylase shows a striking similarity to the other uracil-DNA glycosylases, ranging from 40.3 to 55.7% identical residues. The proteins of human and bacterial origin were unexpectedly found to be most closely related, 73.3% similarity when conservative amino acid substitutions were included. The similarity between the different uracil-DNA glycosylase genes is confined to several discrete boxes. These findings strongly indicate that uracil-DNA glycosylases from phylogenetically distant species are highly conserved.

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