Minimum size of active human O6-methylguanine-dna methyltransference (MGMT); substrate binding parallels mgmt activity

T. K. Hazra, R. Roy, D. T. Grabowski, S. Mitra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT), a ubiquitous DNA repair protein, repairs the mutagenic adduct O6-alkylguanine by accepting the alkyl group on a unique cysteine residue in DNA. In an effort to identify the minimum size required for MGMT activity, its cDNA was sequentially deleted at one or both termini and the methyltransferase activities of the encoded polypeptides were determined. Up to 8 and 31 residues could be removed from the NH2- and COO--termini of the protein, respectively, without loss of activity. Although, removal of residue 9 (Arg) from the NH2-terminus or residue 32 (Leu) from the COO--terminus abolished activity, these residues are not essential for activity in the full length protein, but may by involved in maintaining structure. The second order rate constant of the MGMT reaction (5×107 M- min-1) was not significantly altered in the active truncated mutants. Specific complexes between MGMT's and O6-methylguanine-containing oligonucleotide were only observed in electrophoretic mobility shift assays with active, truncated proteins. Furthermore, conservative substitution of the alkylacceptor cysteine with serine induced a significant conformational change associated with loss of both methyltransferase activity and substrate binding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A967
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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