Fe-S Clusters and MutY Base Excision Repair Glycosylases: Purification, Kinetics, and DNA Affinity Measurements

Nicole N. Nuñez, Chandrima Majumdar, Kori T. Lay, Sheila S. David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A growing number of iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster cofactors have been identified in DNA repair proteins. MutY and its homologs are base excision repair (BER) glycosylases that prevent mutations associated with the common oxidation product of guanine (G), 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (OG) by catalyzing adenine (A) base excision from inappropriately formed OG:A mispairs. The finding of an [4Fe-4S]2+ cluster cofactor in MutY, Endonuclease III, and structurally similar BER enzymes was surprising and initially thought to represent an example of a purely structural role for the cofactor. However, in the two decades subsequent to the initial discovery, purification and in vitro analysis of bacterial MutYs and mammalian homologs, such as human MUTYH and mouse Mutyh, have demonstrated that proper Fe-S cluster coordination is required for OG:A substrate recognition and adenine excision. In addition, the Fe-S cluster in MutY has been shown to be capable of redox chemistry in the presence of DNA. The work in our laboratory aimed at addressing the importance of the MutY Fe-S cluster has involved a battery of approaches, with the overarching hypothesis that understanding the role(s) of the Fe-S cluster is intimately associated with understanding the biological and chemical properties of MutY and its unique damaged DNA substrate as a whole. In this chapter, we focus on methods of enzyme expression and purification, detailed enzyme kinetics, and DNA affinity assays. The methods described herein have not only been leveraged to provide insight into the roles of the MutY Fe-S cluster but have also been provided crucial information needed to delineate the impact of inherited variants of the human homolog MUTYH associated with a colorectal cancer syndrome known as MUTYH-associated polyposis or MAP. Notably, many MAP-associated variants have been found adjacent to the Fe-S cluster further underscoring the intimate relationship between the cofactor, MUTYH-mediated DNA repair, and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMethods in Enzymology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • DNA damage
  • DNA repair
  • DNA-protein interactions
  • Enzyme kinetics
  • Fe-S cluster
  • Protein purification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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