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PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42484. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0042484. Epub 2012 Aug 2.

Functional characterization of 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase of Trypanosoma cruzi.

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Departamento de Bioquímica e Imunologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.


The oxidative lesion 8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG) is removed during base excision repair by the 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1 (Ogg1). This lesion can erroneously pair with adenine, and the excision of this damaged base by Ogg1 enables the insertion of a guanine and prevents DNA mutation. In this report, we identified and characterized Ogg1 from the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (TcOgg1), the causative agent of Chagas disease. Like most living organisms, T. cruzi is susceptible to oxidative stress, hence DNA repair is essential for its survival and improvement of infection. We verified that the TcOGG1 gene encodes an 8-oxoG DNA glycosylase by complementing an Ogg1-defective Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain. Heterologous expression of TcOGG1 reestablished the mutation frequency of the yeast mutant ogg1(-/-) (CD138) to wild type levels. We also demonstrate that the overexpression of TcOGG1 increases T. cruzi sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)). Analysis of DNA lesions using quantitative PCR suggests that the increased susceptibility to H(2)O(2) of TcOGG1-overexpressor could be a consequence of uncoupled BER in abasic sites and/or strand breaks generated after TcOgg1 removes 8-oxoG, which are not rapidly repaired by the subsequent BER enzymes. This hypothesis is supported by the observation that TcOGG1-overexpressors have reduced levels of 8-oxoG both in the nucleus and in the parasite mitochondrion. The localization of TcOgg1 was examined in parasite transfected with a TcOgg1-GFP fusion, which confirmed that this enzyme is in both organelles. Taken together, our data indicate that T. cruzi has a functional Ogg1 ortholog that participates in nuclear and mitochondrial BER.

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