ABSTRACT: A poorly understood aspect of DNA repair proteins is their ability to identify exceedingly rare sites of damage embedded in a large excess of nearly identical undamaged DNA, while catalyzing repair only at the damaged sites. Progress toward understanding this problem has been made by comparing the structures and biochemical behavior of these enzymes when they are presented with either a target lesion or a corresponding undamaged nucleobase. Trapping and analyzing such DNA-protein complexes is particularly difficult in the case of base extrusion DNA repair proteins because of the complexity of the repair reaction, which involves extrusion of the target base from DNA followed by its insertion into the active site where glycosidic bond cleavage is catalyzed. Here we report the structure of a human 8-oxoguanine (oxoG) DNA glycosylase, hOGG1, in which a normal guanine from DNA has been forcibly inserted into the enzyme active site. Although the interactions of the nucleobase with the active site are only subtly different for G versus oxoG, hOGG1 fails to catalyze excision of the normal nucleobase. This study demonstrates that even if hOGG1 mistakenly inserts a normal base into its active site, the enzyme can still reject it on the basis of catalytic incompatibility.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2012; 287(30):24916-28. · 4.77 Impact Factor