We describe the characterization of a family 4 UDG1 (uracil DNA glycosylase) from the crenarchaeote Sulfolobus solfataricus. UDG1 is found to have a marked preference for substrates containing a G:U base pair over either A:U or single-stranded uracil-containing DNA substrates. UDG1 is found to interact with the sliding clamp PCNA (proliferating cell nuclear antigen), and does so by a conserved motif in the C-terminus of the protein. S. solfataricus has a heterotrimeric PCNA, and only one of the subunits, PCNA3, interacts with UDG1. We have been unable to detect any stimulation of UDG activity by PCNA, in contrast with the observed effects of PCNA on a number of DNA metabolic enzymes. However, analysis of the effects of Sulfolobus chromatin proteins on UDG1 leads us to propose a mechanistic basis for coupling UDG1 to the replication fork.

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