No genes for any of the known uracil DNA glycosylases of the UDG superfamily are present in the genome of Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus ΔH, making it difficult to imagine how DNA-U repair might be initiated in this organism. Recently, Mth212, the ExoIII homologue of M. thermautotrophicus ΔH has been characterized as a DNA uridine endonuclease, which suggested the possibility of a novel endonucleolytic entry mechanism for DNA uracil repair. With no system of genetic experimentation available, the problem was approached biochemically. Assays of DNA uracil repair in vitro, promoted by crude cellular extracts, provide unequivocal confirmation that this mechanism does indeed operate in M. thermautotrophicus ΔH
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