Cleavage experiments with deoxythymidine 3',5'-bis-(p-nitrophenyl phosphate) suggest that the homing endonuclease I-PpoI follows the same mechanism of phosphodiester bond hydrolysis as the non-specific Serratia nuclease.

Institut für Biochemie (FB 15), Justus-Liebig-Universität, Giessen, Germany.
FEBS Letters (Impact Factor: 3.58). 02/1999; 443(2):209-14. DOI: 10.1016/S0014-5793(98)01660-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We show here that two nucleases, Serratia nuclease and I-PpoI, with contrasting specificities, i.e. non-specific vs. highly sequence specific, share a structurally similar active site region with conservation of the catalytically relevant histidine and asparagine residues. On the basis of a comparison of the available structures and biochemical data for wild type and mutant variants of Serratia nuclease and I-PpoI we propose that both enzymes have a common catalytic mechanism, a proposition that is supported by our finding that both enzymes accept deoxythymidine 3',5'-bis-(p-nitrophenyl phosphate) as a substrate and cleave it in an identical manner. According to this mechanism a histidine residue functions as a general base and Mg2+ bound to an asparagine residue as a Lewis acid in phosphodiester bond cleavage.

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Peter Friedhoff