Sequence specificity of isolated DNA-adenine methylases from Mycobacterium smegmatis (butyricum) and Shigella sonnei 47 cells

Biochem Int. 1985 Mar;10(3):405-13.


A set of four individual DNA-adenine methylases differing in pI (isoelectric point) values (MMbu4.2, MMbu6.4, MMbu7.3, and MMbu8.7), and a sole methylating enzyme with the same base specificity (MSso9.5) are present in M. smegmatis (butyricum) and Sh. sonnei 47 cells, respectively. The sequence specificity of each of those was studied 'in vitro' by a combined approach that comprised isostich (purine tract) analysis and identification of the immediate neighbourhood of the methylated base within the sequence methylated. The MSso9.5 recognition site has been established as the hexanucleotide 'palindromic' 5'-G-A-A-T-T-C-3' sequence which is structurally similar to the analogous MEco RI recognition site. However, in contrast to MEco RI, MSso9.5 methylates the 5'-end adenine residue in the sequence and thus it appears to be an isometimer of MEco RI. By means of the same approach, the partial nucleotide sequences methylated by each of the four individual M. butyricum enzymes were determined. MMbu7.3 and MMbu8.7 exhibit the identical sequence specificity upon methylation of the degenerative trinucleotide 5'-Py-A-Py-3' sequence and thus these enzymes are assumed to represent the different molecular forms of the methylase. MMbu4.2 methylates the 5'-G-G-A-3' sequence and thus it is of a great value as the tool for negating effects of the RBam HI and RAva II-type restriction. MMbu6.4 is of a particular interest on account of its unique DNA methylation pattern which is distinguished in the pronounced clustering of purine bases in the 5'-Pu-Pu-Pu-Pu-Pu-3' sequence methylated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Methyltransferases / isolation & purification*
  • Methyltransferases / metabolism
  • Mycobacterium / enzymology*
  • Purine Nucleotides
  • Shigella sonnei / enzymology*
  • Site-Specific DNA-Methyltransferase (Adenine-Specific)
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Purine Nucleotides
  • Methyltransferases
  • Site-Specific DNA-Methyltransferase (Adenine-Specific)