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Gene. 2008 Jul 15;418(1-2):41-8. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2008.04.005. Epub 2008 Apr 16.

Is crab duplex-specific nuclease a member of the Serratia family of non-specific nucleases?

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Shemiakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry RAS, Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10, 117871 Moscow, Russia.


Kamchatka crab duplex-specific nuclease (Par_DSN) has been classified as a member of the family of DNA/RNA non-specific beta-beta-alpha metal finger (bba-Me-finger) nucleases, the archetype of which is the nuclease from Serratia marcescens. Although the enzyme under investigation seems to belong to the family of S. marcescens nucleases, Par_DSN exhibits a marked preference for double-stranded DNA as a substrate and this property is unusual for other members of this family. We have searched other Arthropod species and identified a number of novel Par_DSN homologs. A phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that the Par_DSN-like enzymes constitute a separate branch in the evolutionary tree of bba-Me-finger nucleases. Combining sequence analysis and site-directed mutagenesis, we found that Par_DSN and its homologs possess the nuclease domain that is slightly longer than that of classic Serratia relatives. The active site composition of Par_DSN is similar but not identical to that of classic Serratia nucleases. Based on these findings, we proposed a new classification of Par_DSN-like nucleases.

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