The Geobacillus stearothermophilus splG gene encodes a thermophilic spore photoproduct lyase (SplG) that belongs to the family of radical S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) enzymes. The aerobically purified apo-SplG forms a homodimer, which contains one [4Fe-4S] cluster per monomer unit after reconstitution to the holoform. Formation of the [4Fe-4S] cluster was proven by quantification of the amount of iron and sulfur per homodimer and by UV and EPR spectroscopy. The UV spectrum features a characteristic absorbance at 420 nm typical for [4Fe-4S] clusters, and the EPR data were found to be identical to those of other proteins containing an [4Fe-4S]+ center. Probing of the activity of the holo-SplG with oligonucleotides containing one spore photoproduct lesion at a defined site proved that the enzyme is able to turn over substrate. In addition to repair, we observed cleavage of AdoMet to generate 5′-deoxyadenosine. In the presence of aza-AdoMet the SplG is completely inhibited, which provides direct support for the repair mechanism.
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