Nature Publishing Group
Enzymes in Uracil DNA glycosylase (UDG) superfamily are essential for the removal of uracil. Family 4 UDGa is a robust uracil DNA glycosylase that only acts on double-stranded and single-stranded uracil-containing DNA. Based on mutational, kinetic and modeling analyses, a catalytic mechanism involving leaving group stabilization by H155 in motif 2 and water coordination by N89 in motif 3 is proposed. Mutual Information analysis identifies a complexed correlated mutation network including a strong correlation in the EG doublet in motif 1 of family 4 UDGa and in the QD doublet in motif 1 of family 1 UNG. Conversion of EG doublet in family 4 Thermus thermophilus UDGa to QD doublet increases the catalytic efficiency by over one hundred-fold and seventeen-fold over the E41Q and G42D single mutation, respectively, rectifying the strong correlation in the doublet. Molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the correlated mutations in the doublet in motif 1 position the catalytic H155 in motif 2 to stabilize the leaving uracilate anion. The integrated approach has important implications in studying enzyme evolution and protein structure and function.