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Gene Review

mutY  -  adenine DNA glycosylase

Escherichia coli UTI89

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Disease relevance of mutY

  • In Escherichia coli the mutY (or micA)-dependent DNA mismatch repair pathway can convert A degrees G and A degrees C mismatches to C.G and G.C base pairs, respectively, through a short repair-tract mechanism [1].
  • Antimutator role of the DNA glycosylase mutY gene in Helicobacter pylori [2].
  • The mutY homolog gene (mutY(Dr)) from Deinococcus radiodurans encodes a 39.4-kDa protein consisting of 363 amino acids that displays 35% identity to the Escherichia coli MutY (MutY(Ec)) protein [3].

High impact information on mutY

  • Inherited defects of base excision repair have not been associated with any human genetic disorder, although mutations of the genes mutM and mutY, which function in Escherichia coli base excision repair, lead to increased transversions of G:C to T:A [4].
  • Mutations in the mutY gene of Escherichia coli confer hypermutability reflecting G.C to T.A transversion mutations and result in a deficiency in methyl-independent G-A to G.C mismatch correction [5].
  • Mutations disabling the first system result in a mutator phenotype that may be identical to mutY [6].
  • We propose that the mutY product functions at a late stage of a pathway that excludes A-G mispairs during chromosome replication and that involves the function of the mutT gene product [7].
  • Strong mutator phenotypes of cells defective in both mutM and mutY genes or ones lacking mutT gene were completely suppressed under the anaerobic condition, indicative of an absence of hydroxyl radicals in the cells [8].

Chemical compound and disease context of mutY


Biological context of mutY

  • The amino acid sequence encoded by the mutB gene is 91% homologous to that encoded by the E. coli mutY gene [10].
  • In addition, H. pylori mutY mutants are only 30% as efficient as wild-type in colonizing the stomach of mice, indicating that H. pylori MutY plays a significant role in oxidative DNA damage repair in vivo [11].
  • The H. pylori mutY open reading frame contains an eight-adenine homonucleotide tract; we provide evidence that this is subject to slipped-strand mispairing, leading to frameshifts that eliminate gene function [2].
  • This operon has transcription initiation sites upstream of mutY, in the mutY coding region, and immediately upstream of nupG [12].
  • Derivatives of E. coli WP2s (uvrA trpE) defective in 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-OG) DNA glycosylase activity (mutM), MutY glycosylase activity on an A:8-OG mispair (mutY), and/or an adaptive response to oxidative stress by superoxide (soxRS) were constructed to compare the mutability to various reactive oxygen-generating compounds [13].

Associations of mutY with chemical compounds

  • A-G mispairs that persist after passage of the replication fork would contain guanine on the template strand and thus be processed to C.G base pairs by the mutY-dependent repair system [7].
  • Overexpression of the MutS repair protein significantly decreased the rate of lacZ GC --> TA transversion mutation in stationary-phase and exponentially growing bacteria and in mutY and mutM mutants, which accumulate mismatches between 8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG) and adenine residues in DNA [14].
  • But mutY expression was higher in glucose- or ammonia-limited chemostats than in nutrient-excess batch culture, so mutY was not downregulated by nutrient limitation [15].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of mutY

  • Based on PCR analysis of the region within and around mutY, isolates from three individual populations contained deletions extending at least 2 kb upstream of mutY and more than 5 kb downstream [15].


  1. Escherichia coli MutY protein has both N-glycosylase and apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease activities on A.C and A.G mispairs. Tsai-Wu, J.J., Liu, H.F., Lu, A.L. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1992) [Pubmed]
  2. Antimutator role of the DNA glycosylase mutY gene in Helicobacter pylori. Huang, S., Kang, J., Blaser, M.J. J. Bacteriol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. Molecular cloning and functional analysis of the MutY homolog of Deinococcus radiodurans. Li, X., Lu, A.L. J. Bacteriol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  4. Inherited variants of MYH associated with somatic G:C-->T:A mutations in colorectal tumors. Al-Tassan, N., Chmiel, N.H., Maynard, J., Fleming, N., Livingston, A.L., Williams, G.T., Hodges, A.K., Davies, D.R., David, S.S., Sampson, J.R., Cheadle, J.P. Nat. Genet. (2002) [Pubmed]
  5. Escherichia coli mutY gene encodes an adenine glycosylase active on G-A mispairs. Au, K.G., Clark, S., Miller, J.H., Modrich, P. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1989) [Pubmed]
  6. Some mismatch repair activities in Escherichia coli. Radicella, J.P., Clark, E.A., Fox, M.S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1988) [Pubmed]
  7. Escherichia coli mutY gene product is required for specific A-G----C.G mismatch correction. Au, K.G., Cabrera, M., Miller, J.H., Modrich, P. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1988) [Pubmed]
  8. Impact of reactive oxygen species on spontaneous mutagenesis in Escherichia coli. Sakai, A., Nakanishi, M., Yoshiyama, K., Maki, H. Genes Cells (2006) [Pubmed]
  9. Mutations in the mutY gene of Escherichia coli enhance the frequency of targeted G:C-->T:a transversions induced by a single 8-oxoguanine residue in single-stranded DNA. Moriya, M., Grollman, A.P. Mol. Gen. Genet. (1993) [Pubmed]
  10. Nucleotide sequence of the Salmonella typhimurium mutB gene, the homolog of Escherichia coli mutY. Desiraju, V., Shanabruch, W.G., Lu, A.L. J. Bacteriol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  11. Role of a MutY DNA glycosylase in combating oxidative DNA damage in Helicobacter pylori. Eutsey, R., Wang, G., Maier, R.J. DNA Repair (Amst.) (2007) [Pubmed]
  12. The genes encoding formamidopyrimidine and MutY DNA glycosylases in Escherichia coli are transcribed as part of complex operons. Gifford, C.M., Wallace, S.S. J. Bacteriol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  13. Induction of the SOS response and mutations by reactive oxygen-generating compounds in various Escherichia coli mutants defective in the mutM, mutY or soxRS loci. Kato, T., Watanabe, M., Ohta, T. Mutagenesis (1994) [Pubmed]
  14. Reduction of GC --> TA transversion mutation by overexpression of MutS in Escherichia coli K-12. Zhao, J., Winkler, M.E. J. Bacteriol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  15. Regulation of mutY and nature of mutator mutations in Escherichia coli populations under nutrient limitation. Notley-McRobb, L., Pinto, R., Seeto, S., Ferenci, T. J. Bacteriol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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