Activation of Ada protein as a transcriptional regulator by direct alkylation with methylating agents

K. Takahashi, Y. Kawazoe, K. Sakumi, Y. Nakabeppu, M. Sekiguchi

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30 Citations (Scopus)


The adaptive response is a cellular process to induce DNA repair enzymes in response to a challenge of alkylating agents. In this process Ada protein, the product of the ada gene, plays a major role; it accepts the methyl groups of the methylated DNA at the cysteine residues of its own molecule, and the methylated form of Ada protein promotes transcription of its own gene, thereby triggering induction of the whole process. In additon to this DNA-mediated activation of Ada protein, we have proposed an alternative mechanism which involves direct methylation of Ada protein by methylating agents (Takahashi, K., and Kawazoe, Y. (1987) Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 144, 447-453). Here we present evidence that Ada protein is activated as a transcriptional regulator through a direct methylation by certain methylating agents. A purified preparation of Ada protein was treated with various methylating agents, and the activity to promote transcription of the ada gene was determined using an in vitro reconstituted system. The ada-specific RNA was produced when the Ada protein treated with methyl methanesulfonate or with methyl iodide was present in the reaction mixture. The Ada protein treated with N-methyl-N-nitrosourea did not show such an activity. It is, therefore, suggested that the adaptive response induced by chemoselective methylating agents such as methyl iodide might be due, at least in part, to the direct methylation of the constitutive Ada protein present in the cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13490-13492
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number27
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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