Sculpting of DNA at abasic sites by DNA glycosylase homolog mag2

Structure. 2013 Jan 8;21(1):154-166. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2012.11.004. Epub 2012 Dec 13.


Modifications and loss of bases are frequent types of DNA lesions, often handled by the base excision repair (BER) pathway. BER is initiated by DNA glycosylases, generating abasic (AP) sites that are subsequently cleaved by AP endonucleases, which further pass on nicked DNA to downstream DNA polymerases and ligases. The coordinated handover of cytotoxic intermediates between different BER enzymes is most likely facilitated by the DNA conformation. Here, we present the atomic structure of Schizosaccharomyces pombe Mag2 in complex with DNA to reveal an unexpected structural basis for nonenzymatic AP site recognition with an unflipped AP site. Two surface-exposed loops intercalate and widen the DNA minor groove to generate a DNA conformation previously only found in the mismatch repair MutS-DNA complex. Consequently, the molecular role of Mag2 appears to be AP site recognition and protection, while possibly facilitating damage signaling by structurally sculpting the DNA substrate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Apurinic Acid / chemistry*
  • Base Pairing
  • Binding Sites
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • DNA Glycosylases / chemistry*
  • DNA Glycosylases / genetics
  • DNA Glycosylases / metabolism
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA, Fungal / chemistry
  • Epistasis, Genetic
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • MutS DNA Mismatch-Binding Protein / chemistry
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Schizosaccharomyces / enzymology*
  • Schizosaccharomyces / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / chemistry*
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / genetics
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • DNA, Fungal
  • Schizosaccharomyces pombe Proteins
  • Apurinic Acid
  • DNA Glycosylases
  • Mag2 protein, S pombe
  • MutS DNA Mismatch-Binding Protein

Associated data

  • PDB/4B21
  • PDB/4B22
  • PDB/4B23
  • PDB/4B24