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DNA Repair (Amst). 2002 Jul 17;1(7):517-29.

A novel human DNA glycosylase that removes oxidative DNA damage and is homologous to Escherichia coli endonuclease VIII.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, The Markey Center for Molecular Genetics, The University of Vermont, Stafford Hall, 95 Carrigan Drive, Burlington, VT 05405-0068, USA.


Prokaryotes and lower eukaryotes possess redundant activities that remove the plethora of oxidative DNA base damages produced during normal oxidative metabolism and which have been associated with cancer and aging. Thus far, only one oxidized pyrimidine-specific DNA glycosylase has been identified in humans, hNthl. Here, we report the identification of three new putative human DNA glycosylases that are phylogenetically members of the Fpg/Nei family primarily found in the bacterial kingdom. We have characterized one of these, hNEI1, and show it to be functionally homologous to bacterial Nei, that is, its principal substrates are oxidized pyrimidines, it undergoes a lyase reaction by, beta,delta-elimination and traps a Schiff base with a substrate containing thymine glycol (Tg). Furthermore, inactivation of active site residues shown to be important in Escherichia coli Nei inactivate the human enzyme. The hNEI1 gene is located on the long arm of chromosome 15 that is frequently deleted in human cancers.

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