DNA photolyase of enterococci: possible explanation for its low sunlight inactivation rate

Document Type



Pathology and Microbiology


DNA photolyase is perhaps the most ancient and direct arsenal in curing the UV-induced dimers formed in the microbial genome. Out of two cofactors of the enzyme, catalytic and light harvesting, differences in the latter have provided basis for categorizing photolyases of prokaryotes as folate and deazaflavin types. In the present study, the homology modeling of DNA photolyase of Enterococcus faecalis was undertaken. The predicted models were structurally compared with the crystal structure coordinates of photolyases from Escherichia coli (folate type) and Anacystis nidulans (deazaflavin type). Discrepancies present in the multiple sequence alignment and tertiary structures, particularly at the light harvesting cofactor (methenyltetrahydrofolic acid, MTHF, 8-hydroxy-5-deazaflavin, 8-HDF) binding sites indicated the mechanistic nature of enterococcal photolyase. Concisely, despite the greater holistic homology with folate-type photolyase, enterococcal photolyase was characterized as deazaflavin-type. The presence of 8-HDF binding sites and groove architecture of substrate binding sites were also found supportive in this regard. The inter cofactor distance and/or orientation also implied to the efficient energy transfer in photolyase of Enterococcus in comparison with E. coli. In addition, we observed relatively high protein deformability in the enterococcal genome, which may favors the repair action of photolyase. The findings are expected to provide molecular insights into the difference in sunlight inactivation rate of two important fecal contamination indicators, namely Enterococcus and E. coli.

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