Activity profiles of enzymes that control the uracil incorporation into DNA during neuronal development.

Abstract:

We have shown that DNA polymerase beta, the only nuclear DNA polymerase present in adult neurons, cannot discriminate between dTTP and dUTP, having the same Km for both substrates. This fact suggests that during reparative DNA synthesis, in adult neurons, dUMP residues can be incorporated into DNA. Since uracil DNA-glycosylase functions to prevent the mutagenic effects of uracil in DNA coming as a product of deamination of cytosine residues or as a result of dUMP incorporation by DNA polymerase, we have studied the perinatal activity of uracil DNA-glycosylase and of 2 enzymes (nucleoside diphosphokinase and dUTPase) involved in dUTP metabolism. Our data indicate that during neuronal development there is a rapid decrease in uracil DNA-glycosylase which could impair the removal of uracil present in DNA in adult neurons. However, misincorporation of dUMP into DNA might be kept to a low frequency by the action of dUTPase present at all developmental stages.

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