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Trends Biochem Sci. 2000 Sep;25(9):414-8.

Dual recognition-incision enzymes might be involved in mismatch repair and meiosis.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.


Mismatch repair in many organisms depends on three proteins: the mismatch-recognition protein MutS, a nicking endonuclease MutH, and MutL, which acts as a scaffold between these. However, many genomes lack MutL but possess MutS. In one of these cases, in a coral mitochondrial genome, a gene is present that encodes a MutS protein fused to an HNH nicking endonuclease, potentially eliminating the requirement for MutL. Likewise, many prokaryotes could operate similarly, independently of MutL by encoding a fused MutS-Smr (MutS2) protein. Smr, which is proposed to be a nicking endonuclease, can also be found separately in many eukaryotes, where it might play a role in mismatch repair or meiotic chromosome crossing-over.

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