3-Methyladenine-DNA glycosylase activities have been identified in all eukaryotic cell systems studied. Some of the results from these studies are reviewed here. The enzymes possess molecular weights between 24×103 and 34×103, they have a broad pH optimum at approximately pH8, require double-stranded DNA and act in the absence of any cofactors. The enzyme can excise several different methylated bases from DNA such as 3-methyladenine, 7-methylguanine and 3-methylguanine.
The specific activity of this DNA glycosylase in mouse L-cells was found to be a function of the proliferative state of the cell. In vitro quantification of this DNA repair activity in synchronized mouse L-cells suggests that it is regulated within a defined temporal sequence prior to the onset of DNA replication.
Using DNA fragments of defined sequences it was observed that the efficiency of removal of the methylated bases is sequence-dependent.