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DNA Repair (Amst). 2008 Jun 1;7(6):970-82. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2008.03.024. Epub 2008 May 12.

Substrate specificity and sequence-dependent activity of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae 3-methyladenine DNA glycosylase (Mag).

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  • 1Department of Biological Engineering and Center for Environmental Health Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


DNA glycosylases initiate base excision repair by first binding, then excising aberrant DNA bases. Saccharomyces cerevisiae encodes a 3-methyladenine (3MeA) DNA glycosylase, Mag, that recognizes 3MeA and various other DNA lesions including 1,N6-ethenoadenine (epsilon A), hypoxanthine (Hx) and abasic (AP) sites. In the present study, we explore the relative substrate specificity of Mag for these lesions and in addition, show that Mag also recognizes cisplatin cross-linked adducts, but does not catalyze their excision. Through competition binding and activity studies, we show that in the context of a random DNA sequence Mag binds epsilon A and AP-sites the most tightly, followed by the cross-linked 1,2-d(ApG) cisplatin adduct. While epsilon A binding and excision by Mag was robust in this sequence context, binding and excision of Hx was extremely poor. We further studied the recognition of epsilon A and Hx by Mag, when these lesions are present at different positions within A:T and G:C tracts. Overall, epsilon A was slightly less well excised from each position within the A:T and G:C tracts compared to excision from the random sequence, whereas Hx excision was greatly increased in these sequence contexts (by up to 7-fold) compared to the random sequence. However, given most sequence contexts, Mag had a clear preference for epsilon A relative to Hx, except in the TTXTT (X=epsilon A or Hx) sequence context from which Mag removed both lesions with almost equal efficiency. We discuss how DNA sequence context affects base excision by various 3MeA DNA glycosylases.

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