The cloning and characterization of a cDNA encoding Xenopus laevis DNA ligase I.
A cDNA clone coding for DNA ligase I (LigI) was isolated from a Xenopus laevis oocyte cDNA library. The 3766-bp sequence showed a putative ORF capable of encoding a 1070-amino-acid protein whose overall identity with two mammalian sequences is 63%. This identity, however, rises to 72.5% in the C-terminal portion of the protein that contains the active site. Expression of the cDNA in a prokaryotic system produces a protein that is immunologically identical to LigI and can be adenylated. The 180-kDa size of the recombinant protein is similar to the LigI detected in oocyte. Northern blot analysis of ovary and embryo RNAs revealed the expression of two (4.1 and 6 kb) LigI transcripts.