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Volume 2015, Article ID 267570, 20 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/267570
Review Article

From Structure-Function Analyses to Protein Engineering for Practical Applications of DNA Ligase

1Central Research Laboratory, Hitachi Ltd., 1-280 Higashi-koigakubo, Kokubunji, Tokyo 185-8601, Japan
2Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, 6-10-1 Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan

Received 20 February 2015; Accepted 18 May 2015

Academic Editor: Frédéric Pecorari

Copyright © 2015 Maiko Tanabe et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

DNA ligases are indispensable in all living cells and ubiquitous in all organs. DNA ligases are broadly utilized in molecular biology research fields, such as genetic engineering and DNA sequencing technologies. Here we review the utilization of DNA ligases in a variety of in vitro gene manipulations, developed over the past several decades. During this period, fewer protein engineering attempts for DNA ligases have been made, as compared to those for DNA polymerases. We summarize the recent progress in the elucidation of the DNA ligation mechanisms obtained from the tertiary structures solved thus far, in each step of the ligation reaction scheme. We also present some examples of engineered DNA ligases, developed from the viewpoint of their three-dimensional structures.