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Mol Genet Genomics. 2003 Jul;269(4):508-16. Epub 2003 May 22.

A gene for a Class II DNA photolyase from Oryza sativa: cloning of the cDNA by dilution-amplification.

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Department of Molecular Biosciences, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, 980-8577 Sendai, Japan.


Ultraviolet radiation induces the formation of two classes of photoproducts in DNA-the cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) and the pyrimidine [6-4] pyrimidone photoproduct (6-4 product). Many organisms produce enzymes, termed photolyases, which specifically bind to these lesions and split them via a UV-A/blue light-dependent mechanism, thereby reversing the damage. These photolyases are specific for either CPDs or 6-4 products. Two classes of photolyases (class I and class II) repair CPDs. A gene that encodes a protein with class II CPD photolyase activity in vitro has been cloned from several plants including Arabidopsis thaliana, Cucumis sativus and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. We report here the isolation of a homolog of this gene from rice (Oryza sativa), which was cloned on the basis of sequence similarity and PCR-based dilution-amplification. The cDNA comprises a very GC-rich (75%) 5; region, while the 3; portion has a GC content of 50%. This gene encodes a protein with CPD photolyase activity when expressed in E. coli. The CPD photolyase gene encodes at least two types of mRNA, formed by alternative splicing of exon 5. One of the mRNAs encodes an ORF for 506 amino acid residues, while the other is predicted to code for 364 amino acid residues. The two RNAs occur in about equal amounts in O. sativa cells.

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