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Mol Microbiol. 2005 Oct;58(1):166-76.

The Helicobacter pylori MutS protein confers protection from oxidative DNA damage.

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1
Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.

Abstract

The human gastric pathogenic bacterium Helicobacter pylori lacks a MutSLH-like DNA mismatch repair system. Here, we have investigated the functional roles of a mutS homologue found in H. pylori, and show that it plays an important physiological role in repairing oxidative DNA damage. H. pylori mutS mutants are more sensitive than wild-type cells to oxidative stress induced by agents such as H2O2, paraquat or oxygen. Exposure of mutS cells to oxidative stress results in a significant ( approximately 10-fold) elevation of mutagenesis. Strikingly, most mutations in mutS cells under oxidative stress condition are G:C to T:A transversions, a signature of 8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG). Purified H. pylori MutS protein binds with a high specific affinity to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) containing 8-oxoG as well as to DNA Holliday junction structures, but only weakly to dsDNA containing a G:A mismatch. Under oxidative stress conditions, mutS cells accumulate higher levels (approximately threefold) of 8-oxoG DNA lesions than wild-type cells. Finally, we observe that mutS mutant cells have reduced colonization capacity in comparison to wild-type cells in a mouse infection model.

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