The Escherichia coli alkA Gene Is Activated to Alleviate Mutagenesis by an Oxidized Deoxynucleoside
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionFrontiers in Microbiology. 2020, 11, 263. 10.3389/fmicb.2020.00263
The cellular methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and other endo/exogenous agents methylate DNA bases non-enzymatically into products interfering with replication and transcription. An important product is 3-methyladenine (m3A), which in Escherichia coli is removed by m3A-DNA glycosylase I (Tag) and II (AlkA). The tag gene is constitutively expressed, while alkA is induced by sub-lethal concentrations of methylating agents. We previously found that AlkA exhibits activity for the reactive oxygen-induced thymine (T) lesion 5-formyluracil (fU) in vitro. Here, we provide evidence for AlkA involvement in the repair of oxidized bases by showing that the adenine (A) ⋅ T → guanine (G) ⋅ cytosine (C) mutation rate increased 10-fold in E. coli wild-type and alkA– cells exposed to 0.1 mM 5-formyl-2′-deoxyuridine (fdU) compared to a wild-type specific reduction of the mutation rate at 0.2 mM fdU, which correlated with alkA gene induction. G⋅C → A⋅T alleviation occurred without alkA induction (at 0.1 mM fdU), correlating with a much higher AlkA efficiency for fU opposite to G than for that to A. The common keto form of fU is the AlkA substrate. Mispairing with G by ionized fU is favored by its exclusion from the AlkA active site.