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1.  The OXR domain defines a conserved family of eukaryotic oxidation resistance proteins 
BMC Cell Biology  2007;8:13.
The NCOA7 gene product is an estrogen receptor associated protein that is highly similar to the human OXR1 gene product, which functions in oxidation resistance. OXR genes are conserved among all sequenced eukaryotes from yeast to humans. In this study we examine if NCOA7 has an oxidation resistance function similar to that demonstrated for OXR1. We also examine NCOA7 expression in response to oxidative stress and its subcellular localization in human cells, comparing these properties with those of OXR1.
We find that NCOA7, like OXR1 can suppress the oxidative mutator phenotype when expressed in an E. coli strain that exhibits an oxidation specific mutator phenotype. Moreover, NCOA7's oxidation resistance function requires expression of only its carboxyl-terminal domain and is similar in this regard to OXR1. We find that, in human cells, NCOA7 is constitutively expressed and is not induced by oxidative stress and appears to localize to the nucleus following estradiol stimulation. These properties of NCOA7 are in striking contrast to those of OXR1, which is induced by oxidative stress, localizes to mitochondria, and appears to be excluded, or largely absent from nuclei.
NCOA7 most likely arose from duplication. Like its homologue, OXR1, it is capable of reducing the DNA damaging effects of reactive oxygen species when expressed in bacteria, indicating the protein has an activity that can contribute to oxidation resistance. Unlike OXR1, it appears to localize to nuclei and interacts with the estrogen receptor. This raises the possibility that NCOA7 encodes the nuclear counterpart of the mitochondrial OXR1 protein and in mammalian cells it may reduce the oxidative by-products of estrogen metabolite-mediated DNA damage.
PMCID: PMC1847813  PMID: 17391516
2.  Reduction of GC → TA Transversion Mutation by Overexpression of MutS in Escherichia coli K-12 
Journal of Bacteriology  2000;182(17):5025-5028.
Overexpression of the MutS repair protein significantly decreased the rate of lacZ GC → TA transversion mutation in stationary-phase and exponentially growing bacteria and in mutY and mutM mutants, which accumulate mismatches between 8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG) and adenine residues in DNA. Conversely, GC → TA transversion increased in mutL or mutS mutants in stationary phase. In contrast, overexpression of MutS did not appreciably reduce lacZ AT → CG transversion mutation in a mutT mutant. These results suggest that MutS-dependent repair can correct 8-oxoG:A mismatches in Escherichia coli cells but may not be able to compete with mutation fixation by MutY in mutT mutants.
PMCID: PMC111390  PMID: 10940054
3.  Stress Induction and Mitochondrial Localization of Oxr1 Proteins in Yeast and Humans 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2004;24(8):3180-3187.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are critical molecules produced as a consequence of aerobic respiration. It is essential for cells to control the production and activity of such molecules in order to protect the genome and regulate cellular processes such as stress response and apoptosis. Mitochondria are the major source of ROS within the cell, and as a result, numerous proteins have evolved to prevent or repair oxidative damage in this organelle. The recently discovered OXR1 gene family represents a set of conserved eukaryotic genes. Previous studies of the yeast OXR1 gene indicate that it functions to protect cells from oxidative damage. In this report, we show that human and yeast OXR1 genes are induced by heat and oxidative stress and that their proteins localize to the mitochondria and function to protect against oxidative damage. We also demonstrate that mitochondrial localization is required for Oxr1 protein to prevent oxidative damage.
PMCID: PMC381681  PMID: 15060142
4.  Antimutator Role of DNA Glycosylase MutY in Pathogenic Neisseria Species 
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(8):2801-2809.
Genome alterations due to horizontal gene transfer and stress constantly generate strain on the gene pool of Neisseria meningitidis, the causative agent of meningococcal (MC) disease. The DNA glycosylase MutY of the base excision repair pathway is involved in the protection against oxidative stress. MC MutY expressed in Escherichia coli exhibited base excision activity towards DNA substrates containing A:7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2′-deoxyguanosine and A:C mismatches. Expression in E. coli fully suppressed the elevated spontaneous mutation rate found in the E. coli mutY mutant. An assessment of MutY activity in lysates of neisserial wild-type and mutY mutant strains showed that both MC and gonococcal (GC) MutY is expressed and active in vivo. Strikingly, MC and GC mutY mutants exhibited 60- to 140-fold and 20-fold increases in mutation rates, respectively, compared to the wild-type strains. Moreover, the differences in transitions and transversions in rpoB conferring rifampin resistance observed with the wild type and mutants demonstrated that the neisserial MutY enzyme works in preventing GC→AT transversions. These findings are important in the context of models linking mutator phenotypes of disease isolates to microbial fitness.
PMCID: PMC1070393  PMID: 15805527
5.  The GO System Prevents ROS-Induced Mutagenesis and Killing in Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
FEMS microbiology letters  2009;294(1):89-96.
Inactivation of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa mutM, mutY, or mutT gene conferred a 2.4-, 17.2-, or 38.1-fold increase in spontaneous mutation frequency, respectively. Importantly, the mutY and mutT strains each displayed a robust H2O2-induced mutation frequency. In addition, the mutM, mutY, and mutT mutations severely sensitized P. aeruginosa to killing by H2O2, suggesting that these gene products act to repair one or more cytotoxic lesions in P. aeruginosa. Nucleotide sequence analysis of a fragment of the rpoB gene from rifampicin resistant mutM-, mutY-, and, mutT-deficient strains was consistent with this conclusion. These findings are discussed in terms of possible roles for mutM, mutY, and mutT in contributing to survival and mutagenesis of P. aeruginosa colonizing the airways of cystic fibrosis patients.
PMCID: PMC2863324  PMID: 19291074
Base excision repair; DNA damage; mutations; reactive oxygen species; pathogenesis
6.  Dominant negative mutator mutations in the mutL gene of Escherichia coli. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1996;24(13):2498-2504.
The mutL gene product is part of the dam-directed mismatch repair system of Escherichia coli but has no known enzymatic function. It forms a complex on heteroduplex DNA with the mismatch recognition MutS protein and with MutH, which has latent endonuclease activity. An N-terminal hexahistidine-tagged MutL was constructed which was active in vivo. As a first stop to determine the functional domains of MutL, we have isolated 72 hydroxylamine-induced plasmid-borne mutations which impart a dominant-negative phenotype to the wild-type strain for increased spontaneous mutagenesis. None of the mutations complement a mutL deletion mutant, indicating that the mutant proteins by themselves are inactive. All the dominant mutations but one could be complemented by the wild-type mutL at about the same gene dosage. DNA sequencing indicated that the mutations affected 22 amino acid residues located between positions 16 and 549 of the 615 amino acid protein. In the N-terminal half of the protein, 12 out of 15 amino acid replacements occur at positions conserved in various eukaryotic MutL homologs. All but one of the sequence changes affecting the C-terminal end of the protein are nonsense mutations.
PMCID: PMC145974  PMID: 8692687
7.  Mutagenesis and Repair in Bacillus anthracis: the Effect of Mutators▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2007;189(6):2331-2338.
We have generated mutator strains of Bacillus anthracis Sterne by using directed gene knockouts to investigate the effect of deleting genes involved in mismatch repair, oxidative repair, and maintaining triphosphate pools. The single-knockout strains are deleted for mutS, mutY, mutM, or ndk. We also made double-knockout strains that are mutS ndk or mutY mutM. We have measured the levels of mutations in the rpoB gene that lead to the Rifr phenotype and have examined the mutational specificity. In addition, we examined the mutational specificity of two mutagens, 5-azacytidine and N-methyl-N′-nitro-N-nitroso-guanidine. The mutY and mutM single knockouts are weak mutators by themselves, but the combination of mutY mutM results in very high mutation rates, all due to G:C → T:A transversions. The situation parallels that seen in Escherichia coli. Also, mutS knockouts are strong mutators and even stronger in the presence of a deletion of ndk. The number of sites in rpoB that can result in the Rifr phenotype by single-base substitution is more limited than in certain other bacteria, such as E. coli and Deinococcus radiodurans, although the average mutation rate per mutational site is roughly comparable. Hotspots at sites with virtually identical surrounding sequences are organism specific.
PMCID: PMC1899402  PMID: 17220233
8.  Regulation of mutY and Nature of Mutator Mutations in Escherichia coli Populations under Nutrient Limitation 
Journal of Bacteriology  2002;184(3):739-745.
Previous analysis of aerobic, glucose-limited continuous cultures of Escherichia coli revealed that G:C-to-T:A (G:C→T:A) transversions were the most commonly occurring type of spontaneous mutation. One possible explanation for the preponderance of these mutations was that nutrient limitation repressed MutY-dependent DNA repair, resulting in increased proportions of G:C→T:A transversions. The regulation of the mutY-dependent DNA repair system was therefore studied with a transcriptional mutY-lacZ fusion recombined into the chromosome. Expression from the mutY promoter was fourfold higher under aerobic conditions than under anaerobic conditions. But mutY expression was higher in glucose- or ammonia-limited chemostats than in nutrient-excess batch culture, so mutY was not downregulated by nutrient limitation. An alternative explanation for the frequency of G:C→T:A transversions was the common appearance of mutY mutator mutations in the chemostat populations. Of 11 chemostat populations screened in detail, six contained mutators, and the mutator mutation in four cultures was located in the region of mutY at 66 min on the chromosome. The spectrum of mutations and rate of mutation in these isolates were fully consistent with a mutY-deficiency in each strain. Based on PCR analysis of the region within and around mutY, isolates from three individual populations contained deletions extending at least 2 kb upstream of mutY and more than 5 kb downstream. In the fourth population, the deletion was even longer, extending at least 5 kb upstream and 5 kb downstream of mutY. The isolation of mutY mutator strains from four independent populations with extensive chromosomal rearrangements suggests that mutY inactivation by deletion is a means of increasing mutation rates under nutrient limitation and explains the observed frequency of G:C→T:A mutations in glucose-limited chemostats.
PMCID: PMC139514  PMID: 11790743
9.  Analysis of spontaneous base substitutions generated in mismatch-repair-deficient strains of Escherichia coli. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1986;168(1):412-416.
We used the lacI system of Escherichia coli to examine the distribution of base substitution mutations occurring spontaneously in different mismatch-repair-deficient strains. The examination of almost 1,200 nonsense mutations generated in strains carrying the mutS, mutH, and mutU alleles confirmed that transitions are highly favored over transversions. The detailed analysis of relative mutation rates at different sites revealed that the pattern of hot spots and cold spots is strikingly similar in each of the three strain backgrounds, strongly supporting the notions that the products of the three genes are part of the same system and that in the absence of any of the components the entire system fails to function. The distribution of mutations occurring in the absence of mismatch repair defined a pronounced topography of the lacI gene. There was no obvious correlation of the hot spots or cold spots with either nearest-neighbor sequences or A X T richness of the immediate surrounding sequence.
PMCID: PMC213466  PMID: 3531178
10.  Role of a MutY DNA Glycosylase in Combating Oxidative DNA damage in Helicobacter pylori 
DNA repair  2006;6(1):19-26.
MutY is an adenine glycosylase that has the ability to efficiently remove adenines from adenine/7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-oxo-G) or adenine/guanine mismatches, and plays an important role in oxidative DNA damage repair. The human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori has a homolog of the MutY enzyme. To investigate the physiological roles of MutY in H. pylori, we constructed and characterized a mutY mutant. H. pylori mutY mutants incubated at 5% O2 have a 325 fold higher spontaneous mutation rate than its parent. The mutation rate is further increased by exposing the mutant to atmospheric levels of oxygen, an effect that is not seen in an E. coli mutY mutant. Most of the mutations that occurred in H. pylori mutY mutants, as examined by rpoB sequence changes that confer rifampicin resistance, are GC to TA transversions. The H. pylori enzyme has the ability to complement an E. coli mutY mutant, restoring its mutation frequency to the wild-type level. Pure H. pylori MutY has the ability to remove adenines from A/8-oxo-G mismatches, but strikingly no ability to cleave A/G mismatches. This is surprising because E. coli MutY can more rapidly turnover A/G than A/8-oxo-G. Thus, H. pylori MutY is an adenine glycosylase involved in the repair of oxidative DNA damage with a specificity for detecting 8-oxo-G. In addition, H. pylori mutY mutants are only 30% as efficient as wild-type in colonizing the stomach of mice, indicating that H. pylori MutY plays a significant role in oxidative DNA damage repair in vivo.
PMCID: PMC1829490  PMID: 16996809
11.  The Anopheles gambiae Oxidation Resistance 1 (OXR1) Gene Regulates Expression of Enzymes That Detoxify Reactive Oxygen Species 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(6):e11168.
OXR1 is an ancient gene, present in all eukaryotes examined so far that confers protection from oxidative stress by an unknown mechanism. The most highly conserved region of the gene is the carboxyl-terminal TLDc domain, which has been shown to be sufficient to prevent oxidative damage.
Methodology/Principal Findings
OXR1 has a complex genomic structure in the mosquito A. gambiae, and we confirm that multiple splice forms are expressed in adult females. Our studies revealed that OXR1 regulates the basal levels of catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (Gpx) expression, two enzymes involved in detoxification of hydrogen peroxide, giving new insight into the mechanism of action of OXR1. Gene silencing experiments indicate that the Jun Kinase (JNK) gene acts upstream of OXR1 and also regulates expression of CAT and GPx. Both OXR1 and JNK genes are required for adult female mosquitoes to survive chronic oxidative stress. OXR1 silencing decreases P. berghei oocyst formation. Unexpectedly, JNK silencing has the opposite effect and enhances Plasmodium infection in the mosquito, suggesting that JNK may also mediate some, yet to be defined, antiparasitic response.
The JNK pathway regulates OXR1 expression and OXR1, in turn, regulates expression of enzymes that detoxify reactive oxygen species (ROS) in Anopheles gambiae. OXR1 silencing decreases Plasmodium infection in the mosquito, while JNK silencing has the opposite effect and enhances infection.
PMCID: PMC2887368  PMID: 20567517
12.  Oxr1 Is Essential for Protection against Oxidative Stress-Induced Neurodegeneration 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(10):e1002338.
Oxidative stress is a common etiological feature of neurological disorders, although the pathways that govern defence against reactive oxygen species (ROS) in neurodegeneration remain unclear. We have identified the role of oxidation resistance 1 (Oxr1) as a vital protein that controls the sensitivity of neuronal cells to oxidative stress; mice lacking Oxr1 display cerebellar neurodegeneration, and neurons are less susceptible to exogenous stress when the gene is over-expressed. A conserved short isoform of Oxr1 is also sufficient to confer this neuroprotective property both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, biochemical assays indicate that Oxr1 itself is susceptible to cysteine-mediated oxidation. Finally we show up-regulation of Oxr1 in both human and pre-symptomatic mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, indicating that Oxr1 is potentially a novel neuroprotective factor in neurodegenerative disease.
Author Summary
Oxygen is vital for life, but it can also cause damage to cells. Consequently, protective proteins (antioxidants) are utilised to maintain the fine balance between oxygen metabolism and the production of potentially toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS). If this balance is not maintained, oxidative stress occurs and excess ROS are generated, causing damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids. The brain is particularly susceptible to oxidative stress, and ROS–induced damage is a common feature of all major neurodegenerative disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the molecular mechanisms of ROS defence in neurons are still under investigation. Here we describe the characterisation of oxidation resistance 1 (Oxr1), a gene previously shown to be induced under oxidative stress. We show both in mice and in cells that loss of Oxr1 causes cell death and that increasing protein levels can protect against ROS. In addition, Oxr1 is over-expressed in the spinal cord in ALS patients, as well as in a pre-symptomatic ALS mouse model. These data demonstrate for the first time that Oxr1 is vital for the protection of neuronal cells against oxidative stress and that induction of Oxr1 may be relevant to neurodegenerative pathways in disease.
PMCID: PMC3197693  PMID: 22028674
13.  Multiprobe RNase Protection Assay Analysis of mRNA Levels for the Escherichia coli Oxidative DNA Glycosylase Genes under Conditions of Oxidative Stress 
Journal of Bacteriology  2000;182(19):5416-5424.
Escherichia coli formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase (Fpg), MutY DNA glycosylase, endonuclease VIII, and endonuclease III are oxidative base excision repair DNA glycosylases that remove oxidized bases from DNA, or an incorrect base paired with an oxidized base in the case of MutY. Since genes encoding other base excision repair proteins have been shown to be part of adaptive responses in E. coli, we wanted to determine whether the oxidative DNA glycosylase genes are induced in response to conditions that cause the type of damage their encoded proteins remove. The genes fpg, mutY, nei, and nth encode Fpg, MutY, endonuclease VIII, and endonuclease III, respectively. Multiprobe RNase protection assays were used to examine the transcript levels of these genes under conditions that induce the SoxRS, OxyR, and SOS regulons after a shift from anaerobic to aerobic growth and at different stages along the growth curve. Transcript levels for all four genes decreased as cells progressed from log-phase growth to stationary phase and increased after cells were shifted from anaerobic to aerobic growth. None of the genes were induced by hydrogen peroxide, paraquat, X rays, or conditions that induce the SOS response.
PMCID: PMC110984  PMID: 10986244
14.  Mismatch Correction Modulates Mutation Frequency and Pilus Phase and Antigenic Variation in Neisseria gonorrhoeae ▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2009;192(1):316-325.
The mismatch correction (MMC) system repairs DNA mismatches and single nucleotide insertions or deletions postreplication. To test the functions of MMC in the obligate human pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae, homologues of the core MMC genes mutS and mutL were inactivated in strain FA1090. No mutH homologue was found in the FA1090 genome, suggesting that gonococcal MMC is not methyl directed. MMC mutants were compared to a mutant in uvrD, the helicase that functions with MMC in Escherichia coli. Inactivation of MMC or uvrD increased spontaneous resistance to rifampin and nalidixic acid, and MMC/uvrD double mutants exhibited higher mutation frequencies than any single mutant. Loss of MMC marginally enhanced the transformation efficiency of DNA carrying a single nucleotide mismatch but not that of DNA with a 1-kb insertion. Unlike the exquisite UV sensitivity of the uvrD mutant, inactivating MMC did not affect survival after UV irradiation. MMC and uvrD mutants exhibited increased PilC-dependent pilus phase variation. mutS-deficient gonococci underwent an increased frequency of pilin antigenic variation, whereas uvrD had no effect. Recombination tracts in the mutS pilin variants were longer than in parental gonococci but utilized the same donor pilS loci. These results show that gonococcal MMC repairs mismatches and small insertion/deletions in DNA and also affects the recombination events underlying pilin antigenic variation. The differential effects of MMC and uvrD in gonococci unexpectedly reveal that MMC can function independently of uvrD in this human-specific pathogen.
PMCID: PMC2798252  PMID: 19854909
15.  MutM, a protein that prevents G.C----T.A transversions, is formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1991;19(13):3629-3632.
We have cloned chromosomal DNA bordering an insert that inactivates mutM. Sequencing of this clone has revealed that the insertion element is located between the promoter and structural gene for formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase (Fapy-DNA glycosylase). An overproducing clone of Fapy-DNA glycosylase complements the original mutM strain that had been isolated after EMS mutagenesis. Thus, we conclude that MutM is actually Fapy-DNA glycosylase. mutM has previously been characterized as a mutator strain that leads specifically to G.C----T.A transversions. This in vivo characterization correlates well with the mutagenic potential of one of the lesions Fapy-DNA glycosylase removes, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanine (8-OxodG).
PMCID: PMC328390  PMID: 1649454
16.  Identification and characterization of the mutL and mutS gene products of Salmonella typhimurium LT2. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1985;163(3):1007-1015.
The gene products of the mutL and mutS loci play essential roles in the dam-directed mismatch repair in both Salmonella typhimurium LT2 and Escherichia coli K-12. Mutations in these genes result in a spontaneous mutator phenotype. We have cloned the mutL and mutS genes from S. typhimurium by generating mutL- and mutS-specific probes from an S. typhimurium mutL::Tn10 and an mutS::Tn10 strain and using these to screen an S. typhimurium library. Both the mutL and mutS genes from S. typhimurium were able to complement E. coli mutL and mutS strains, respectively. By a combination of Tn1000 insertion mutagenesis and the maxicell technique, the products of the mutL and mutS genes were shown to have molecular weights of 70,000 and 98,000 respectively. A phi (mutL'-lacZ+) gene fusion was constructed; no change in the expression of the fusion could be detected by treatment with DNA-damaging agents. In crude extracts, the MutS protein binds single-stranded DNA, but not double-stranded DNA, with high affinity.
PMCID: PMC219232  PMID: 2993227
17.  The Single-Strand DNA Binding Activity of Human PC4 Prevents Mutagenesis and Killing by Oxidative DNA Damage 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2004;24(13):6084-6093.
Human positive cofactor 4 (PC4) is a transcriptional coactivator with a highly conserved single-strand DNA (ssDNA) binding domain of unknown function. We identified PC4 as a suppressor of the oxidative mutator phenotype of the Escherichia coli fpg mutY mutant and demonstrate that this suppression requires its ssDNA binding activity. Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants lacking their PC4 ortholog Sub1 are sensitive to hydrogen peroxide and exhibit spontaneous and peroxide-induced hypermutability. PC4 expression suppresses the peroxide sensitivity of the yeast sub1Δ mutant, suggesting that the human protein has a similar function. A role for yeast and human proteins in DNA repair is suggested by the demonstration that Sub1 acts in a peroxide resistance pathway involving Rad2 and by the physical interaction of PC4 with the human Rad2 homolog XPG. We show that XPG recruits PC4 to a bubble-containing DNA substrate with a resulting displacement of XPG and formation of a PC4-DNA complex. We discuss the possible requirement for PC4 in either global or transcription-coupled repair of oxidative DNA damage to mediate the release of XPG bound to its substrate.
PMCID: PMC480877  PMID: 15199162
18.  Escherichia coli Nth and human hNTH1 DNA glycosylases are involved in removal of 8-oxoguanine from 8-oxoguanine/guanine mispairs in DNA 
Nucleic Acids Research  2001;29(9):1975-1981.
The spectrum of DNA damage caused by reactive oxygen species includes a wide variety of modifications of purine and pyrimidine bases. Among these modified bases, 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG) is an important mutagenic lesion. Base excision repair is a critical mechanism for preventing mutations by removing the oxidative lesion from the DNA. That the spontaneous mutation frequency of the Escherichia coli mutT mutant is much higher than that of the mutM or mutY mutant indicates a significant potential for mutation due to 8-oxoG incorporation opposite A and G during DNA replication. In fact, the removal of A and G in such a situation by MutY protein would fix rather than prevent mutation. This suggests the need for differential removal of 8-oxoG when incorporated into DNA, versus being generated in situ. In this study we demonstrate that E.coli Nth protein (endonuclease III) has an 8-oxoG DNA glycosylase/AP lyase activity which removes 8-oxoG preferentially from 8-oxoG/G mispairs. The MutM and Nei proteins are also capable of removing 8-oxoG from mispairs. The frequency of spontaneous G:C→C:G transversions was significantly increased in E.coli CC103mutMnthnei mutants compared with wild-type, mutM, nth, nei, mutMnei, mutMnth and nthnei strains. From these results it is concluded that Nth protein, together with the MutM and Nei proteins, is involved in the repair of 8-oxoG when it is incorporated opposite G. Furthermore, we found that human hNTH1 protein, a homolog of E.coli Nth protein, has similar DNA glycosylase/AP lyase activity that removes 8-oxoG from 8-oxoG/G mispairs.
PMCID: PMC37258  PMID: 11328882
19.  Mismatch DNA recognition protein from an extremely thermophilic bacterium, Thermus thermophilus HB8. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1996;24(4):640-647.
The mutS gene, implicated in DNA mismatch repair, was cloned from an extremely thermophilic bacterium, Thermus thermophilus HB8. Its nucleotide sequence encoded a 819-amino acid protein with a molecular mass of 91.4 kDa. Its predicted amino acid sequence showed 56 and 39% homology with Escherichia coli MutS and human hMsh2 proteins, respectively. The T.thermophilus mutS gene complemented the hypermutability of the E.coli mutS mutant, suggesting that T.thermophilus MutS protein was active in E.coli and could interact with E.coli MutL and/or MutH proteins. The T.thermophilus mutS gene product was overproduced in E.coli and then purified to homogeneity. Its molecular mass was estimated to be 91 kDa by SDS-PAGE but approx. 330 kDa by size-exclusion chromatography, suggesting that T.thermophilus MutS protein was a tetramer in its native state. Circular dichroic measurements indicated that this protein had an alpha-helical content of approx. 50%, and that it was stable between pH 1.5 and 12 at 25 degree C and was stable up to 80 degree C at neutral pH. Thermus thermophilus MutS protein hydrolyzed ATP to ADP and Pi, and its activity was maximal at 80 degrees C. The kinetic parameters of the ATPase activity at 65 degrees C were Km = 130 microM and Kcat = 0.11 s(-1). Thermus thermophilus MutS protein bound specifically with G-T mismatched DNA even at 60 degrees C.
PMCID: PMC145672  PMID: 8604304
20.  Impact of mutS Inactivation on Foreign DNA Acquisition by Natural Transformation in Pseudomonas stutzeri 
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(1):143-154.
In prokaryotic mismatch repair the MutS protein and its homologs recognize the mismatches. The mutS gene of naturally transformable Pseudomonas stutzeri ATCC 17587 (genomovar 2) was identified and characterized. The deduced amino acid sequence (859 amino acids; 95.6 kDa) displayed protein domains I to IV and a mismatch-binding motif similar to those in MutS of Escherichia coli. A mutS::aac mutant showed 20- to 163-fold-greater spontaneous mutability. Transformation experiments with DNA fragments of rpoB containing single nucleotide changes (providing rifampin resistance) indicated that mismatches resulting from both transitions and transversions were eliminated with about 90% efficiency in mutS+. The mutS+ gene of strain ATCC 17587 did not complement an E. coli mutant but partially complemented a P. stutzeri JM300 mutant (genomovar 4). The declining heterogamic transformation by DNA with 0.1 to 14.6% sequence divergence was partially alleviated by mutS::aac, indicating that there was a 14 to 16% contribution of mismatch repair to sexual isolation. Expression of mutS+ from a multicopy plasmid eliminated autogamic transformation and greatly decreased heterogamic transformation, suggesting that there is strong limitation of MutS in the wild type for marker rejection. Remarkably, mutS::aac altered foreign DNA acquisition by homology-facilitated illegitimate recombination (HFIR) during transformation, as follows: (i) the mean length of acquired DNA was increased in transformants having a net gain of DNA, (ii) the HFIR events became clustered (hot spots) and less dependent on microhomologies, which may have been due to topoisomerase action, and (iii) a novel type of transformants (14%) had integrated foreign DNA with no loss of resident DNA. We concluded that in P. stutzeri upregulation of MutS could enforce sexual isolation and downregulation could increase foreign DNA acquisition and that MutS affects mechanisms of HFIR.
PMCID: PMC538834  PMID: 15601698
21.  Cloning and sequencing a human homolog (hMYH) of the Escherichia coli mutY gene whose function is required for the repair of oxidative DNA damage. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1996;178(13):3885-3892.
We have cloned the human mutY gene (hMYH) from both genomic and cDNA libraries. The human gene contains 15 introns and is 7.1 kb long. The 16 exons encode a protein of 535 amino acids that displays 41% identity to the Escherichia coli protein, which provides an important function in the repair of oxidative damage to DNA and helps to prevent mutations from oxidative lesions. The human mutY gene maps on the short arm of chromosome 1, between p32.1 and p34.3.
PMCID: PMC232650  PMID: 8682794
22.  Mutation spectrum in Escherichia coli DNA mismatch repair deficient (mutH) strain. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1987;15(20):8205-8215.
The Dam-directed post-replicative mismatch repair system of Escherichia coli removes base pair mismatches from DNA. The products of the mutH, mutL and mutS genes, among others, are required for efficient mismatch repair. Absence of any of these gene products leads to persistence of mismatches in DNA with a resultant increase in spontaneous mutation rate. To determine the specificity of the mismatch repair system in vivo we have isolated and characterized 47 independent mutations from a mutH strain in the plasmid borne mnt repressor gene. The major class of mutations comprises AT to GC transitions that occur within six base pairs of the only two 5'-GATC-3' sequences in the mnt gene. In the wild type control strain, insertion of the IS1 element was the major spontaneous mutational event. A prediction of the Dam-directed mismatch repair model, that the mutation spectra of dam and mutH strains should be the same, was confirmed.
PMCID: PMC306354  PMID: 3313278
23.  Effect of endogenous carotenoids on “adaptive” mutation in Escherichia coli FC40 
Mutation research  2001;473(1):109-119.
The appearance over many days of Lac+ frameshift mutations in Escherichia coli strain FC40 incubated on lactose selection plates is a classic example of apparent “adaptive” mutation in an episomal gene. We show that endogenously overproduced carotenoids reduce adaptive mutation under selective conditions by a factor of around two. Carotenoids are known to scavenge singlet oxygen suggesting that the accumulation of oxidative base damage may be an integral part of the adaptive mutation phenomenon. If so, the lesion cannot be 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine since adaptive mutation in FC40 is unaffected by mutM and mutY mutations. If active oxygen species such as singlet oxygen are involved in adaptive mutation then they should also induce frameshift mutations in FC40 under non-selective conditions. We show that such mutations can be induced under non-selective conditions by protoporphyrin photosensitisation and that this photodynamic induction is reduced by a factor of just over two when endogenous carotenoids are present. We argue that the involvement of oxidative damage would in no way be inconsistent with current understanding of the mechanism of adaptive mutation and the role of DNA polymerases.
PMCID: PMC2929247  PMID: 11166030
Adaptive mutation; Carotenoids; Singlet oxygen; Active oxygen species; Frameshift mutations
24.  KsgA, a 16S rRNA adenine methyltransferase, has a novel DNA glycosylase/AP lyase activity to prevent mutations in Escherichia coli 
Nucleic Acids Research  2009;37(7):2116-2125.
The 5-formyluracil (5-foU), a major mutagenic oxidative damage of thymine, is removed from DNA by Nth, Nei and MutM in Escherichia coli. However, DNA polymerases can also replicate past the 5-foU by incorporating C and G opposite the lesion, although the mechanism of correction of the incorporated bases is still unknown. In this study, using a borohydride-trapping assay, we identified a protein trapped by a 5-foU/C-containing oligonucleotide in an extract from E. coli mutM nth nei mutant. The protein was subsequently purified from the E. coli mutM nth nei mutant and was identified as KsgA, a 16S rRNA adenine methyltransferase. Recombinant KsgA also formed the trapped complex with 5-foU/C- and thymine glycol (Tg)/C-containing oligonucleotides. Furthermore, KsgA excised C opposite 5-foU, Tg and 5-hydroxymethyluracil (5-hmU) from duplex oligonucleotides via a β-elimination reaction, whereas it could not remove the damaged base. In contrast, KsgA did not remove C opposite normal bases, 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine and 2-hydroxyadenine. Finally, the introduction of the ksgA mutation increased spontaneous mutations in E. coli mutM mutY and nth nei mutants. These results demonstrate that KsgA has a novel DNA glycosylase/AP lyase activity for C mispaired with oxidized T that prevents the formation of mutations, which is in addition to its known rRNA adenine methyltransferase activity essential for ribosome biogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2673420  PMID: 19223326
25.  Physical and Functional Interactions between Escherichia coli MutY Glycosylase and Mismatch Repair Protein MutS▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2006;189(3):902-910.
Escherichia coli MutY and MutS increase replication fidelity by removing adenines that were misincorporated opposite 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-deoxyguanines (8-oxoG), G, or C. MutY DNA glycosylase removes adenines from these mismatches through a short-patch base excision repair pathway and thus prevents G:C-to-T:A and A:T-to-G:C mutations. MutS binds to the mismatches and initiates the long-patch mismatch repair on daughter DNA strands. We have previously reported that the human MutY homolog (hMYH) physically and functionally interacts with the human MutS homolog, hMutSα (Y. Gu et al., J. Biol. Chem. 277:11135-11142, 2002). Here, we show that a similar relationship between MutY and MutS exists in E. coli. The interaction of MutY and MutS involves the Fe-S domain of MutY and the ATPase domain of MutS. MutS, in eightfold molar excess over MutY, can enhance the binding activity of MutY with an A/8-oxoG mismatch by eightfold. The MutY expression level and activity in mutS mutant strains are sixfold and twofold greater, respectively, than those for the wild-type cells. The frequency of A:T-to-G:C mutations is reduced by two- to threefold in a mutS mutY mutant compared to a mutS mutant. Our results suggest that MutY base excision repair and mismatch repair defend against the mutagenic effect of 8-oxoG lesions in a cooperative manner.
PMCID: PMC1797285  PMID: 17114250

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