The replicative DNA polymerase of herpes simplex virus 1 exhibits apurinic/apyrimidinic and 5'-deoxyribose phosphate lyase activities.


Base excision repair (BER) is essential for maintaining genome stability both to counter the accumulation of unusual bases and to protect from base loss in the DNA. Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is a large dsDNA virus that encodes its own DNA replication machinery, including enzymes involved in nucleotide metabolism. We report on a replicative family B and a herpesvirus-encoded DNA Pol that possesses DNA lyase activity. We have discovered that the catalytic subunit of the HSV-1 DNA polymerase (Pol) (UL30) exhibits apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) and 5'-deoxyribose phosphate (dRP) lyase activities. These activities are integral to BER and lead to DNA cleavage on the 3' side of abasic sites and 5'-dRP residues that remain after cleavage by 5'-AP endonuclease. The UL30-catalyzed reaction occurs independently of divalent cation and proceeds via a Schiff base intermediate, indicating that it occurs via a lyase mechanism. Partial proteolysis of the Schiff base shows that the DNA lyase activity resides in the Pol domain of UL30. These observations together with the presence of a virus-encoded uracil DNA glycosylase indicates that HSV-1 has the capacity to perform critical steps in BER. These findings have implications on the role of BER in viral genome maintenance during lytic replication and reactivation from latency.




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