Indexed on: 11 Feb '10Published on: 11 Feb '10Published in: DNA Repair
Deinococcus radiodurans lacks a homologue of the recB and recC genes, and the sbcA/B genes, of Escherichia coli. Thus, DNA strand break repair in Deinococcus proceeds by pathways that do not utilize these proteins. Unlike E. coli, the absence of recBC and sbcA/sbcB, and presence of only sbcC and sbcD in Deinococcus, indicates an enigmatic role of SbcCD in this bacterium. Studies on sbcCD mutation in Deinococcus showed nearly a 100-fold increase in gamma radiation sensitivity as compared to wild type. The mutant showed a higher rate of in vivo DNA degradation during the post-irradiation recovery period that corresponds to the RecA-dependent DSB repair phase. These cells showed a typical NotI pattern of DNA reassembly during the early phase of DSB repair, but were defective for the subsequent RecA-dependent phase II of DSB repair. Hydrogen peroxide had no effect on cell survival of the mutant. While its tolerance to higher doses of UVC and mitomycin C was significantly decreased as compared to wild type. Purified recombinant SbcCD proteins showed single-stranded endonuclease and 3'-->5' double-stranded DNA exonuclease activities similar to that of the Mre11-Rad50 complex, which is required for DNA strand break repair in higher organisms. These results suggested that the Mre11-Rad50 type nuclease activity of SbcCD proteins contributes to the radiation resistance of D. radiodurans perhaps by promoting the RecA-dependent DSB repair required for polyploid genome maturation.