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"Two divalent metal ions in the active site of a new crystal form of human apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease, Ape1: implications for the catalytic mechanism."

Beernink PT, Segelke BW, Hadi MZ, Erzberger JP, Wilson DM 3rd, Rupp B

Published April 6, 2001 in J Mol Biol volume 307 .

Pubmed ID: 11286553

The major human abasic endonuclease, Ape1, is an essential DNA repair enzyme that initiates the removal of apurinic/apyrimidinic sites from DNA, excises 3' replication-blocking moieties, and modulates the DNA binding activity of several transcriptional regulators. We have determined the X-ray structure of the full-length human Ape1 enzyme in two new crystal forms, one at neutral and one at acidic pH. The new structures are generally similar to the previously determined structure of a truncated Ape1 protein, but differ in the conformation of several loop regions and in spans of residues with weak electron density. While only one active-site metal ion is present in the structure determined at low pH, the structure determined from a crystal grown at the pH optimum of Ape1 nuclease activity, pH 7.5, has two metal ions bound 5 A apart in the active site. Enzyme kinetic data indicate that at least two metal-binding sites are functionally important, since Ca(2+) exhibits complex stimulatory and inhibitory effects on the Mg(2+)-dependent catalysis of Ape1, even though Ca(2+) itself does not serve as a cofactor. In conjunction, the structural and kinetic data suggest that Ape1 catalyzes hydrolysis of the DNA backbone through a two metal ion-mediated mechanism.

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Last modification of this entry: Oct. 6, 2010

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