DNA Deformation-Coupled Recognition of 8-Oxoguanine: Conformational Kinetic Gating in Human DNA Glycosylase

Haoquan Li, Anton V. Endutkin, Christina Bergonzo, Lin Fu, Arthur Grollman, Dmitry O. Zharkov, Carlos Simmerling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


8-Oxoguanine (8-oxoG), a mutagenic DNA lesion generated under oxidative stress, differs from its precursor guanine by only two substitutions (O8 and H7). Human 8-oxoguanine glycosylase 1 (OGG1) can locate and remove 8-oxoG through extrusion and excision. To date, it remains unclear how OGG1 efficiently distinguishes 8-oxoG from a large excess of undamaged DNA bases. We recently showed that formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase (Fpg), a bacterial functional analog of OGG1, can selectively facilitate eversion of oxoG by stabilizing several intermediate states, and it is intriguing whether OGG1 also employs a similar mechanism in lesion recognition. Here, we use molecular dynamics simulations to explore the mechanism by which OGG1 discriminates between 8-oxoG and guanine along the base-eversion pathway. The MD results suggest an important role for kinking of the DNA by the glycosylase, which positions DNA phosphates in a way that assists lesion recognition during base eversion. The computational predictions were validated through experimental enzyme assays on phosphorothioate substrate analogs. Our simulations suggest that OGG1 distinguishes between 8-oxoG and G using their chemical dissimilarities not only at the active site but also at earlier stages during base eversion, and this mechanism is at least partially conserved in Fpg despite a lack of structural homology. The similarity also suggests that lesion recognition through multiple gating steps may be a common theme in DNA repair. Our results provide new insight into how enzymes can exploit kinetics and DNA conformational changes to probe the chemical modifications present in DNA lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2682-2692
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2017


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