Substrate Preferences of Vsr DNA Mismatch Endonuclease and Their Consequences for the Evolution of the Escherichia Coli K-12 Genome

J Mol Biol. 1995 Jan 6;245(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/s0022-2836(95)80033-6.


The substrate spectrum of Vsr DNA mismatch endonuclease of Escherichia coli K-12 was investigated using fluorescence-labelled oligonucleotide substrates and a DNA sequencer for detection and quantification of substrates and reaction products. Fourteen substrates were found to be processed by the enzyme, which differ in one or two positions from the canonical pentanucleotide sequence CTA/TGG (T mismatched to G). Relative second-order rate constants of these substrates were determined in groups of four by multiple substrate kinetics and compared to the underresentation of the corresponding pentanucleotides in the E. coli K-12 genome. The high quality of correlation further establishes active mutagenesis by VSP repair as a significant driving force of the evolution of the E. coli K-12 genome and provides clues to its possible selective value.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • Deoxyribonuclease I / genetics*
  • Deoxyribonuclease I / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis
  • Oligonucleotides / analysis
  • Substrate Specificity / genetics


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Oligonucleotides
  • Deoxyribonuclease I