The (A)BC excinuclease of Escherichia coli has only the UvrB and UvrC subunits in the incision complex

D. K. Orren, A. Sancar

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The uvrA, uvrB, and uvrC genes control excision repair in Escherichia coli. Cells with mutations in any of these three genes cannot repair DNA by nucleotide excision. When the purified gene products - the UvrA, UvrB, and UvrC proteins - are mixed together, an excision nuclease is formed that incises on both sides of the damaged nucleotide in an ATP-dependent reaction; it has been presumed that the excision nuclease was an ABC complex containing all three Uvr proteins. To determine the stoichiometry of the subunits in the enzyme, we conducted hydrodynamic studies with mixtures of the subunits with or without DNA substrate. We found that without DNA the UvrA subunit is a dimer and that when UvrB protein is also present, a (UvrA)2(UvrB)1 complex forms. Without DNA no detectable interaction of either the UvrA or UvrB subunits or the (UvrA)2(UvrB)1 complex with the UvrC subunit occurs. Unexpectedly, with UV-irradiated DNA, the UvrA/UvrB ratio in isolated DNA-protein complexes is variable, and the ratio becomes infinitesimally low as the UvrA concentration in the reaction mixture decreases. Under conditions of saturating UvrB protein approximately one UvrB molecule binds to DNA per damaged site in a reaction that requires catalytic amounts of UvrA subunit. Addition of UvrC protein to purified UvrB-DNA complexes results in rapid incision of the DNA, presumably catalyzed by an excision nuclease containing only UvrB and UvrC subunits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5237-5241
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1989

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