Bacterial DNA repair genes and their eukaryotic homologues: 3. AlkB dioxygenase and Ada methyltransferase in the direct repair of alkylated DNA
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Environmental and endogenous alkylating agents generate cytotoxic and mutagenic lesions in DNA. Exposure of prokaryotic cells to sublethal doses of DNA alkylating agents induces so called adaptive response (Ada response) involving the expression of a set of genes which allows the cells to tolerate the toxic and mutagenic action of such agents. The Ada response includes the expression of four genes: ada, alkA, alkB, and aidB. The product of ada gene, Ada protein, is an activator of transcription of all four genes. DNA bases damaged by alkylation are removed by distinct strategies. The most toxic lesion 3meA is removed by specific DNA glycosylase initiating base excising repair. The toxic and mutagenic O6meG is repaired directly by methyltransferases. 1meA and 3meC are corrected by AlkB DNA dioxygenase. The mechanisms of action of E. coli AlkB dioxygenase and its human homologs ABH2 and ABH3 are described in more details.
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