Specificity and Catalytic Mechanism in Family 5 Uracil DNA Glycosylase [Enzymology]

May 16th, 2014 by Xia, B., Liu, Y., Li, W., Brice, A. R., Dominy, B. N., Cao, W.

UDGb belongs to family 5 of the uracil DNA glycosylase (UDG) superfamily. Here, we report that family 5 UDGb from Thermus thermophilus HB8 is not only a uracil DNA glycosyase acting on G/U, T/U, C/U and A/U base pairs, it is also a hypoxanthine DNA glycosylase acting on G/I, T/I and A/I base pairs and a xanthine DNA glycosylase acting on all double-stranded and single-stranded xanthine-containing DNA. Analysis of potentials of mean force indicates that the tendency of hypoxanthine base flipping follows the order of G/I > T/I, A/I > C/I, matching the trend of hypoxanthine DNA glycosylase activity observed in vitro. Genetic analysis indicates that family 5 UDGb can also act as an enzyme to remove uracil incorporated into DNA through the existence of dUTP in the nucleotide pool. Mutational analysis coupled with molecular modeling and molecular dynamics analysis reveal that while hydrogen bonding to O2 of uracil underlies the UDG activity in a dissociative fashion, Tth UDGb relies on multiple catalytic residues to facilitate its excision of hypoxanthine and xanthine. This study underscores the structural and functional diversity in the UDG superfamily.