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Nucleic Acids Res. 1997 Apr 15;25(8):1523-30.

Profile of the DNA recognition site of the archaeal homing endonuclease I-DmoI.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Biology, Copenhagen University, Solvgade 83 H, DK-1307 Copenhagen K, Denmark.


I- Dmo I is a homing enzyme of the LAGLI-DADG type that recognizes up to 20 bp of DNA and is encoded by an archaeal intron of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Desulfurococcus mobilis . A combined mutational and DNA footprinting approach was employed to investigate the specificity of the I- Dmo I-substrate interaction. The results indicate that the enzyme binds primarily to short base paired regions that border the sites of DNA cleavage and intron insertion. The minimal substrate spans no more than 15 bp and while sequence degeneracy is tolerated in the DNA binding regions, the sequence and size of the cleavage region is highly conserved. The enzyme has a slow turnover rate and cuts the coding strand with a slight preference over the non-coding strand. Complex formation produces some distortion of the DNA double helix within the cleavage region. The data are compatible with the two DNA-binding domains of I- Dmo I bridging the minor groove, where cleavage occurs, and interacting within the major groove on either side, thereby stabilizing a distorted DNA double helix. This may provide a general mode of DNA interaction at least for the LAGLIDADG-type homing enzymes.

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