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Evolutionary origins of DNA repair pathways: Role of oxygen catastrophe in the emergence of DNA glycosylases

Abstract : It was proposed that the last universal common ancestor (LUCA) evolved under high temperatures in an oxygen-free environment, similar to those found in deep-sea vents and on volcanic slopes. Therefore, spontaneous DNA decay such as base loss and cytosine deamination were the major factors affecting LUCA's genome integrity. Cosmic radiation due to weak Earth's magnetic field and alkylating metabolic radicals added to these threats. Here, we propose that ancient forms of life had only two distinct repair mechanisms: versatile apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonucleases to cope with both AP sites and deaminated residues, and enzymes catalysing direct reversal of UV and alkylation damage. The absence of uracil-DNA N-glycosylases in some Archaea, together with the presence of an AP endonuclease that can cleave uracil-containing DNA, suggest that the AP endonuclease-initiated nucleotide incision repair (NIR) pathway evolved independently from glycosylase-mediated base excision repair. NIR may be a relic that appeared in an early thermophilic ancestor to counteract spontaneous DNA damage. We hypothesize that a rise in the oxygen level in the Earth's atmosphere ~2 Ga triggered the narrow specialization of AP endonucleases and DNA glycosylases to cope efficiently with a widened array of oxidative base damage and complex DNA lesions.
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Contributor : Murat Saparbaev Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 3:51:52 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 3:17:47 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, January 28, 2022 - 7:17:07 PM


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Paulina Prorok, Inga R Grin, Bakhyt T Matkarimov, Alexander Ishchenko, Jacques Laval, et al.. Evolutionary origins of DNA repair pathways: Role of oxygen catastrophe in the emergence of DNA glycosylases. Cells, MDPI, 2021, 10 (7), pp.1591. ⟨10.3390/cells10071591⟩. ⟨hal-03406036⟩



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