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Dynamics of the excised base release in thymine DNA glycosylase during DNA repair process


Thymine DNA glycosylase (TDG) initiates base excision repair by cleaving the N-glycosidic bond between the sugar and target base. After catalysis, the release of excised base is a requisite step to terminate the catalytic cycle and liberate the TDG for the following enzymatic reactions. However, an atomistic-level understanding of the dynamics of the product release process in TDG remains unknown. Here, by employing molecular dynamics simulations combined with the Markov State Model, we reveal the dynamics of the thymine release after the excision at microseconds timescale and all-atom resolution. We identify several key metastable states of the thymine and its dominant releasing pathway. Notably, after replacing the TDG residue Gly142 with tyrosine, the thymine release is delayed compared to the wild-type (wt) TDG, as supported by our potential of mean force (PMF) calculations. These findings warrant further experimental tests to potentially trap the excised base in the active site of TDG after the catalysis, which had been unsuccessful by previous attempts. Finally, we extended our studies to other TDG products, including the uracil, 5hmU, 5fC and 5caC bases in order to compare the product release for different targeting bases in the TDG-DNA complex.

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