DNA topoisomerase and recombinase activities in Nae I restriction endonuclease

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  24 Mar 1995:
Vol. 267, Issue 5205, pp. 1817-1820
DOI: 10.1126/science.7892605


Nae I endonuclease must bind to two DNA sequences for cleavage. Examination of the amino acid sequence of Nae I uncovered similarity to the active site of human DNA ligase I, except for leucine 43 in Nae I instead of the lysine essential for ligase activity. Changing leucine 43 to lysine 43 (L43K) changed Nae I activity: Nae I-L43K relaxed supercoiled DNA to yield DNA topoisomers and recombined DNA to give dimeric molecules. Interruption of the reactions of Nae I and Nae I-L43K with DNA demonstrated transient protein-DNA covalent complexes. These findings imply coupled endonuclease and ligase domains and link Nae I endonuclease to the topoisomerase and recombinase protein families.