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Mol Microbiol. 2001 Jun;40(6):1241-8.

Bacterial DNA ligases.

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Molecular Biology Sector, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK.


DNA ligases join breaks in the phosphodiester backbone of DNA molecules and are used in many essential reactions within the cell. All DNA ligases follow the same reaction mechanism, but they may use either ATP or NAD+ as a cofactor. All Bacteria (eubacteria) contain NAD+-dependent DNA ligases, and the uniqueness of these enzymes to Bacteria makes them an attractive target for novel antibiotics. In addition to their NAD+-dependent enzymes, some Bacteria contain genes for putative ATP-dependent DNA ligases. The requirement for these different isozymes in Bacteria is unknown, but may be related to their utilization in different aspects of DNA metabolism. The putative ATP-dependent DNA ligases found in Bacteria are most closely related to proteins from Archaea and viruses. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that all NAD+-dependent DNA ligases are closely related, but the ATP-dependent enzymes have been acquired by Bacterial genomes on a number of separate occasions.

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