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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Identification of a PD-(D/E)XK-like domain with a novel configuration of the endonuclease active site in the methyl-directed restriction enzyme Mrr and its homologs.

The Escherichia coli K-12 restriction enzyme Mrr recognizes and cleaves N6-methyladenine- and 5-methylcytosine-containing DNA. Its amino acid sequence has been subjected to structure prediction and comparison with other sequences from publicly available sources. The results obtained suggest that Mrr and related putative endonucleases possess a cleavage domain typical for all the so far structurally characterized type II restriction enzymes, however with an unusual glutamine residue at the central position of the (D/E)-(D/E)XK hallmark of the active site. The "missing" acidic side chain was instead found anchored in a different, unusual position, suggesting that Mrr represents a third topological variant of the endonuclease active site in addition to the two alternatives determined previously (Skirgaila et al., 1998. J. Mol. Biol. 279, 473-481). One of the newly identified putative endonucleases from the Mrr family is composed of two diverged cleavage domains, which possess both the "typical" D-EXK and the "Mrr-like" D-QXK variants of the active site. Among the Mrr homologs there are also proteins from yeast, in which restriction phenotype has not been observed, suggesting that the free-standing Eukaryotic PD-(D/E)XK superfamily members might be implicated in other cellular processes involving enzymatic DNA cleavage.[1]


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