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J Biol Chem. 2011 Jan 28;286(4):2807-16. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.161596. Epub 2010 Nov 18.

Role of RecJ-like protein with 5'-3' exonuclease activity in oligo(deoxy)nucleotide degradation.

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Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


RecJ-like proteins belonging to the DHH family have been proposed to function as oligoribonucleases and 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphate (pAp) phosphatases in bacteria and archaea, which do not have Orn (oligoribonuclease) and CysQ (pAp phosphatase) homologs. In this study, we analyzed the biochemical and physiological characterization of the RecJ-like protein TTHA0118 from Thermus thermophilus HB8. TTHA0118 had high enzymatic activity as an oligodeoxyribonucleotide- and oligoribonucleotide-specific exonuclease and as pAp phosphatase. The polarity of degradation was 5' to 3', in contrast to previous reports about Bacillus subtilis NrnA, a RecJ-like protein. TTHA0118 preferentially hydrolyzed short oligodeoxyribonucleotides and oligoribonucleotides, whereas the RecJ exonuclease from T. thermophilus HB8 showed no such length dependence on oligodeoxyribonucleotide substrates. An insertion mutation of the ttha0118 gene led to growth reduction in minimum essential medium. Added 5'-mononucleotides, nucleosides, and cysteine increased growth of the ttha0118 mutant in minimum essential medium. The RecJ-like protein Mpn140 from Mycoplasma pneumoniae M129, which cannot synthesize nucleic acid precursors de novo, showed similar biochemical features to TTHA0118. Furthermore, B. subtilis NrnA also hydrolyzed oligo(deoxy)ribonucleotides in a 5'-3' direction. These results suggested that these RecJ-like proteins act in recycling short oligonucleotides to mononucleotides and in controlling pAp concentrations in vivo.

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