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Biochemistry. 1994 Apr 26;33(16):4787-93.

DNA mismatch binding and incision at modified guanine bases by extracts of mammalian cells: implications for tolerance to DNA methylation damage.

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Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Clare Hall Laboratories, South Mimms, U.K.


Two activities involved in separate pathways for correcting G.T mispairs in DNA have been assayed on duplex substrates containing modified guanine bases. The first, the G.T mismatch incision activity, is specifically involved in short-patch repair of mispairs arising via deamination of 5-methylcytosine. The second activity can be detected by its ability to bind to G.T mispairs and may initiate correction by a long-patch mechanism. 6-Thioguanine and O6-methylguanine paired with thymine were efficiently incised by cell extracts if the modified guanine was in a CpG dinucleotide. Incision was not observed when either purine was paired with cytosine. Extracts of cells that are tolerant both to methylation damage and to 6-thioguanine in DNA also incised 6-thioguanine.T and O6-methylguanine.T base pairs. The data suggest that this activity is unlikely to contribute significantly to the biological effects of O6-methylguanine in DNA. A defect in this pathway is therefore unlikely to explain the cross-resistance of tolerant cells to the two base analogs in DNA. In binding assays, 6-thioguanine.T base pairs were recognized efficiently and to an equivalent extent by the same protein complex as G.T mispairs. O6-Methylguanine.T base pairs were also recognized but with reduced efficiency. No binding was observed to 6-thioguanine.C or O6-methylguanine.C base pairs. Recognition by the binding complex was essentially independent of the base immediately 5' to the mismatched guanine but was somewhat more efficient if O6-methylguanine was preceded by a purine. Extracts of two tolerant lines with a known defect in G.T mismatch binding failed to form complexes with substrates containing the modified bases.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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