Mutations at Arginine 276 transform human uracil-DNA glycosylase into a single-stranded DNA-specific uracil-DNA glycosylase

Cheng Yao Chen, Dale W. Mosbaugh, Samuel E. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate the role of Arginine 276 in the conserved leucine-loop of human uracil-DNA glycosylase (UNG), the effects of six R276 amino acid substitutions (C, E, H, L, W, and Y) on nucleotide flipping and enzyme conformational change were determined using transient and steady state, fluorescence-based, kinetic analysis. Relative to UNG, the mutant proteins exhibited a 2.6- to 7.7-fold reduction in affinity for a doubled-stranded oligonucleotide containing a pseudouracil residue opposite 2-aminopurine, as judged by steady-state DNA binding-base flipping assays. An anisotropy binding assay was utilized to determine the Kd of UNG and the R276 mutants for carboxyfluorescein-labeled uracil-containing single- and double-stranded oligonucleotides; the binding affinities varied 11-fold for single-stranded uracil-DNA, and 43-fold for double-stranded uracil-DNA. Productive uracil-DNA binding was monitored by rapid quenching of UNG intrinsic protein fluorescence. Relative to UNG, the rate of intrinsic fluorescence quenching of five mutant proteins for binding double-stranded uracil-DNA was reduced approximately 50%; the R276E mutant exhibited 1% of the rate of fluorescence quenching of UNG. When reacted with single-stranded uracil-DNA, the rate of UNG fluorescence quenching increased. Moreover, the rate of fluorescence quenching for all the mutant proteins, except R276E, was slightly faster than UNG. The kcat of the R276 mutants was comparable to UNG on single-stranded DNA and differentially affected by NaCl; however, kcat on double-stranded DNA substrate was reduced 4-12-fold and decreased sharply at NaCl concentrations as low as 20 mM. Taken together, these results indicate that the effects of mutations at Arg276 were largely limited to enzyme interactions with double-stranded uracil-containing DNA, and suggested that mutations at Arg276 effectively transformed UNG into a single-stranded DNA-specific uracil-DNA glycosylase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-805
Number of pages13
JournalDNA Repair
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jul 12

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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