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Curr Biol. 1996 Aug 1;6(8):968-80.

Cloning of a yeast 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase reveals the existence of a base-excision DNA-repair protein superfamily.

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Harvard University, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, 12 Oxford Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.



Reactive oxygen species, ionizing radiation, and other free radical generators initiate the conversion of guanine (G) residues in DNA to 8-oxoguanine (OG), which is highly mutagenic as it preferentially mispairs with adenine (A) during replication. Bacteria counter this threat with a multicomponent system that excises the lesion, corrects OG:A mispairs and cleanses the nucleotide precursor pool of dOGTP. Although biochemical evidence has suggested the existence of base-excision DNA repair proteins specific for OG in eukaryotes, little is known about these proteins.


Using substrate-mimetic affinity chromatography followed by a mechanism-based covalent trapping procedure, we have isolated a base-excision DNA repair protein from Saccharomyces cerevisiae that processes OG opposite cytosine (OG:C) but acts only weakly on OG:A. A search of the yeast genome database using peptide sequences from the protein identified a gene, OGG1, encoding a predicted 43 kDa (376 amino acid) protein, identical to one identified independently by complementation cloning. Ogg1 has OG:C-specific base-excision DNA repair activity and also intrinsic beta-lyase activity, which proceeds through a Schiff base intermediate. Targeted disruption of the OGG1 gene in yeast revealed a second OG glycosylase/lyase protein, tentatively named Ogg2, which differs from Ogg1 in that it preferentially acts on OG:G.


S. cerevisiae has two OG-specific glycosylase/lyases, which differ significantly in their preference for the base opposite the lesion. We suggest that one of these, Ogg1, is closely related in overall three-dimensional structure to Escherichia coli endonuclease III (endo III), a glycosylase/lyase that acts on fragmented and oxidatively damaged pyrimidines. We have recently shown that AlkA, a monofunctional DNA glycosylase that acts on alkylated bases, is structurally homologous to endo III. We have now identified a shared active site motif amongst these three proteins. Using this motif as a protein database searching tool, we find that it is present in a number of other base-excision DNA repair proteins that process diverse lesions. Thus, we propose the existence of a DNA glycosylase superfamily, members of which possess a common fold yet act upon remarkably diverse lesions, ranging from UV photoadducts to mismatches to alkylated or oxidized bases.

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