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J Bacteriol. 2004 Aug;186(16):5376-83.

Bacillus subtilis YhcR, a high-molecular-weight, nonspecific endonuclease with a unique domain structure.

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Department of Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine of New York University, New York, NY 10029, USA.


In a continuing effort to identify ribonucleases that may be involved in mRNA decay in Bacillus subtilis, fractionation of a protein extract from a triple-mutant strain that was missing three previously characterized 3'-to-5' exoribonucleases (polynucleotide phosphorylase [PNPase], RNase R, and YhaM) was undertaken. These experiments revealed the presence of a high-molecular-weight nuclease encoded by the yhcR gene that was active in the presence of Ca(2+) and Mn(2+). YhcR is a sugar-nonspecific nuclease that cleaves endonucleolytically to yield nucleotide 3'-monophosphate products, similar to the well-characterized micrococcal nuclease of Staphylococcus aureus. YhcR appears to be located principally in the cell wall and is likely to be a substrate for a B. subtilis sortase. Zymogram analysis suggests that YhcR is the major Ca(2+)-activated nuclease of B. subtilis. In addition to having a unique overall domain structure, YhcR contains a hitherto unknown structural domain that we have named "NYD," for "new YhcR domain."

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