Human EXOG Possesses Strong AP Hydrolysis Activity: Implication on Mitochondrial DNA Base Excision Repair

Michal R. Szymanski, Anna Karlowicz, Geoffrey K. Herrmann, Yana Cen, Y. Whitney Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Most oxidative damage on mitochondrial DNA is corrected by the base excision repair (BER) pathway. However, the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting reaction-deoxyribose phosphate (dRP) removal-in the multienzymatic reaction pathway has not been completely determined in mitochondria. Also unclear is how a logical order of enzymatic reactions is ensured. Here, we present structural and enzymatic studies showing that human mitochondrial EXOG (hEXOG) exhibits strong 5′-dRP removal ability. We show that, unlike the canonical dRP lyases that act on a single substrate, hEXOG functions on a variety of abasic sites, including 5′-dRP, its oxidized product deoxyribonolactone (dL), and the stable synthetic analogue tetrahydrofuran (THF). We determined crystal structures of hEXOG complexed with a THF-containing DNA and with a partial gapped DNA to 2.9 and 2.1 Å resolutions, respectively. The structures illustrate that hEXOG uses a controlled 5′-exonuclease activity to cleave the third phosphodiester bond away from the 5′-abasic site. This study provides a structural basis for hEXOG's broad spectrum of substrates. Further, we show that hEXOG can set the order of BER reactions by generating an ideal substrate for the subsequent reaction in BER and inhibit off-pathway reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23543-23550
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 28 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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