FEBS letters

5-Methyldeoxycytidine monophosphate deaminase and 5-methylcytidyl-DNA deaminase activities are present in human mature sperm cells.

PMID 12023031


Human mature sperm cells have a high nuclease and 5-methyldeoxycytidine monophosphate (5-mdCMP) deaminase activity. The deaminase converts the nuclease degradation product 5-mdCMP into dTMP which is further cleaved into thymine and the abasic sugar-phosphate. Both 5-methylcytidine 5' and 3' monophosphates are good substrates for the deaminase. 5-methylcytidine is not a good deaminase substrate and 5-methylcytosine (5mC) is not a substrate. A purified fraction of the deaminase free of nucleases deaminates 5mC present in intact methylated double-stranded DNA. 5-mdCMP deaminase co-purifies on SDS-PAGE with dCMP deaminase and has an apparent molecular weight of 25 kDa. The enzyme requires no divalent cations and has a Km of 1.4 x 10(-7) M for 5-mdCMP and a Vmax of 7 x 10(-11) mol/h/microg protein. The possible biological implications of the deaminase's activities in the present system are discussed.