Volume 85 (2010) Issue 4 Pages 287-295
The oxidized nucleotide precursors 7, 8-dihydro-8-oxo-dGTP (8-oxo-dGTP) and 1, 2-dihydro-2-oxo-dATP (2-oxo-dATP) are readily incorporated into nascent DNA strands during replication, which would cause base substitution mutations. E. coli MutT and human homologue hMTH1 hydrolyze 8-oxo-dGTP, thereby preventing mutations. In this study, we searched for hMTH1 homologues in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis using the NCBI-BLAST database. Among several candidates, we focused on one open reading frame, designated as CiMutT, because of its high degree of identity (41.7%) and similarity (58.3%) to the overall amino acid sequence of hMTH1, including the Nudix box. CiMutT significantly suppressed the mutator activity of E. coli mutT mutant. Purified CiMutT had a pyrophosphohydrolase activity that hydrolyzed 8-oxo-dGTP to 8-oxo-dGMP and inorganic pyrophosphate. It had a pH optimum of 9.5 and Mg++ requirement with optimal activity at 5 mM. The activity of CiMutT for 8-oxo-dGTP was comparable to that of hMTH1, while it was 100-fold lower for 2-oxo-dATP than that of hMTH1. These facts indicate that CiMutT is a functional homologue of E. coli MutT. In addition, the enzyme hydrolyzed all four of the unoxidized nucleoside triphosphates, with a preference for dATP. The specific activity for 8-oxo-dGTP was greater than that for unoxidized dATP and dGTP. These results suggest that CiMutT has the potential to prevent mutations by 8-oxo-dGTP in C. intestinalis.