Base deamination is a typical form of DNA damage, and it must be repaired quickly to maintain the genome integrity of living organisms. Endonuclease Q (EndoQ), recently found in the hyperthermophilic archaea, is an enzyme that cleaves the phosphodiester bond 5′ from the damaged nucleotide in the DNA strand, and may primarily function to start the repair process for the damaged bases. Endonuclease V (EndoV) also hydrolyzes the second phosphodiester bond 3′ from the damaged nucleotide, although the hyperthermophilic archaeal EndoV is a strictly hypoxanthine-specific endonuclease. To understand the relationships of the EndoQ and EndoV functions in hyperthermophilic archaea, we analyzed their interactions in hypoxanthine repair. EndoQ and EndoV do not directly interact with each other in either the presence or absence of DNA. However, EndoQ and EndoV individually worked on deoxyinosine (dI)-containing DNA at each cleavage site. EndoQ has higher affinity to dI-containing DNA than EndoV, and cells produce higher amounts of EndoQ, as compared to EndoV. These data support the proposal that EndoQ primarily functions for, at least, dI-containing DNA.
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