Richard P. Cunningham

Learn More
A two-dimensional DNA crystal has been designed and constructed from Holliday junction analogues that contain two helical domains twisted relative to each other. The Holliday junction is not an inherently rigid system, but it can be made less flexible if it is combined into a larger construct. We have fused four junctions into a rhombus-like molecule(More)
The crystal structure of the DNA repair enzyme endonuclease III, which recognizes and cleaves DNA at damaged bases, has been solved to 2.0 angstrom resolution with an R factor of 0.185. This iron-sulfur [4Fe-4S] enzyme is elongated and bilobal with a deep cleft separating two similarly sized domains: a novel, sequence-continuous, six-helix domain (residues(More)
DNA is constantly exposed to endogenous andexogenous alkylating agents that can modify its bases,resulting in mutagenesis in the absence of DNA repair [1,2]. Alkylation damage is removed by the action of DNA glycosylases, which initiate the base excision repair pathway and protect the sequence information of the genome [3-5]. We have identified a new class(More)
The repair of DNA requires the removal of abasic sites, which are constantly generated in vivo both spontaneously and by enzymatic removal of uracil, and of bases damaged by active oxygen species, alkylating agents and ionizing radiation. The major apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) DNA-repair endonuclease in Escherichia coli is the multifunctional enzyme(More)
E. coli RecA protein and topoisomerase I, acting on superhelical DNA and circular single strands in the presence of ATP and Mg2+, topologically link single-stranded molecules to one another, and single-stranded molecules to duplex DNA. When superhelical DNA is relaxed by prior incubation with topoisomerase, it is a poor substrate for catenation. Extensive(More)
Endonuclease IV is the archetype for a conserved apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease family that primes DNA repair synthesis by cleaving the DNA backbone 5' of AP sites. The crystal structures of Endonuclease IV and its AP-DNA complex at 1.02 and 1.55 A resolution reveal how an alpha8beta8 TIM barrel fold can bind dsDNA. Enzyme loops intercalate side(More)
The recA protein, which is essential for genetic recombination in E. coli, promotes the homologous pairing of double-stranded DNA and linear single-stranded DNA, thereby forming a three-stranded joint molecule called a D loop. Single-stranded DNA stimulates recA protein to unwind double-stranded DNA. By a presumably related mechanism, recA protein promoted(More)
Deamination of nucleobases in DNA and RNA results in the formation of xanthine (X), hypoxanthine (I), oxanine, and uracil, all of which are miscoding and mutagenic in DNA and can interfere with RNA editing and function. Among many forms of nucleic acid damage, deamination arises from several unrelated mechanisms, including hydrolysis, nitrosative chemistry,(More)
RecA protein makes stable joint molecules from fully duplex DNA and molecules that are partially single-stranded; the latter may be either duplex molecules with an internal gap in one strand or molecules with single-stranded ends. Stable joint molecules form only when the end of at least one strand is in a homologous region. When RecA protein pairs linear(More)