The astonishingly efficient location and excision of damaged DNA bases by DNA repair glycosylases is an especially intriguing problem in biology. One example is the enzyme uracil DNA glycosylase (UNG), which captures and excises rare extrahelical uracil bases that have emerged from the DNA base stack by spontaneous base pair breathing motions. Here, we explore the efficiency and mechanism by which UNG executes intramolecular transfer and excision of two uracil sites embedded on the same or opposite DNA strands at increasing site spacings. The efficiency of intramolecular site transfer decreased from 41 to 0% as the base pair spacing between uracil sites on the same DNA strand increased from 20 to 800 bp. The mechanism of transfer is dominated by DNA hopping between landing sites of ≈10 bp size, over which rapid 1D scanning likely occurs. Consistent with DNA hopping, site transfer at 20- and 56-bp spacings was unaffected by whether the uracils were placed on the same or opposite strands. Thus, UNG uses hopping and 3D diffusion through bulk solution as the principal pathways for efficient patrolling of long genomic DNA sequences for damage. Short-range sliding over the range of a helical turn allows for redundant inspection of very local DNA sequences and trapping of spontaneously emerging extrahelical uracils.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Aug 5 2008|
- Facilitated diffusion
- Search mechanism
ASJC Scopus subject areas