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EMBO J. 1988 May;7(5):1527-35.

Initiation of heteroduplex-loop repair by T4-encoded endonuclease VII in vitro.

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Institut für Genetik der Universität zu Kölin, FRG.


Heteroduplex DNAs with single-stranded loops of 51 nt or 8 nt were constructed in vitro and used in reactions with purified endonuclease VII (endo VII) from phage T4. The enzyme makes double-strand breaks by introducing pairs of staggered nicks flanking the loops. Regardless of loop-size the nicking sites map exclusively at the 3' side of the loop in the looping strand and at the 3' side of the base of the loop in the non-looping strand. The number of potential cleavage sites is small (less than 5) and their distribution depends on DNA sequence. The two closest staggered nicks are 4 bp apart, 2 bp on either side of the loop. Nicking always occurs in the double-stranded part of the molecules; the single-stranded loops are not attacked by endo VII. The nicks are introduced in a stepwise fashion and selection of the strand for the first nick depends on the sequence of 31 base pairs flanking the loops.

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