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DNA substrates containing defined oxidative base lesions and their application to study substrate specificities of base excision repair enzymes.

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Department of Mathematical and Life Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8526, Japan.


Reactive oxygen species generate structurally diverse base lesions in DNA. These lesions are primarily removed by base excision repair (BER) enzymes in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Biochemical properties of BER enzymes such as substrate specificity, enzymatic parameters, and action mechanisms can be best studied by employing defined oligonucleotide and DNA substrates. Currently available methods are listed to prepare defined DNA substrates containing oxidative base damage and analogs. BER enzymes for oxidative base damage are classified into two subgroups that recognize pyrimidine lesions (Endo III homologs) and purine lesions (Fpg homologs), though E. coli Fpg exhibits weak repair activity for certain pyrimidine damage. Recently, several interesting findings have been reported in relation to the substrate specificity of BER enzymes. Saccharomyces cerevisiae Endo III homologs (NTG1 and NTG2) have been shown to recognize formamidopyrimidine (Fapy) lesions that are derived from purine. Endo III and Endo VIII have a very weak activity to dihydrothymine in comparison with thymine glycol. Excision of 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine by Fpg and human OGG1 is paired-base-dependent, whereas that of Fapy is essentially paired-base-independent. The repair efficiency of BER enzymes is affected by surrounding sequence contexts. In general, the sequence context effect appears to be more pronounced for Fpg homologs than Endo III homologs.

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