The Initiation of DNA Base Excision Repair of Dipyrimidine Photoproducts

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35 Scopus citations


One of the major DNA repair pathways is base excision repair, in which DNA bases that have been damaged by endogenous or exogenous agents are removed by the action of a class of enzymes known as DNA glycosylases. One subset of the known DNA glycosylases has an associated abasic lyase activity that generates a phosphodiester bond scission. The base excision pathway is completed by the sequential action of abasic endonucleases, DNA polymerases, and DNA ligases. Base excision repair of ultraviolet (UV) light-induced dipyrimidine photoproducts has been described in a variety of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms and phages. These enzymes vary significantly in their exact substrate specificity and in the catalytic mechanism by which repair is initiated. The prototype enzyme within this class of UV-specific DNA glycosylases is T4 endonuclease V. Endonuclease V holds the distinction of being the first glycosylase (1) to have its structure solved by X-ray diffraction of the enzyme alone as well as in complex with pyrimidine dimer-containing DNA, (2) to have its key catalytic active site residues identified, and (3) to have its mechanism of target DNA site location determined and the biological relevance of this process established. Thus, the study of endonuclease V has been critical in gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms of all DNA glycosylases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-175
Number of pages21
JournalProgress in nucleic acid research and molecular biology
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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