A functional homologue of eukaryotic Ogg1 proteins in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana has recently been cloned, isolated, and characterized [Garcia-Ortiz, M. V., Ariza, R. R., and RoldanA Arjona, T. (2001) Plant Mol. Biol. 47,795-804]. This enzyme (AtOgg1) exhibits a high degree of sequence similarity in several highly conserved regions with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Drosophila melanogaster, and human Ogg1 proteins. We investigated the substrate specificity and kinetics of AtOgg1 for excision of modified bases from oxidatively damaged DNA that contained multiple pyrimidine- and purine-derived lesions. Two different DNA substrates prepared by exposure to ionizing radiation in aqueous solution under N2O or air were used for this purpose. Gas chromatography/isotope-dilution mass spectrometry was applied to identify and quantify modified bases in DNA samples. Of the 17 modified bases identified in DNA samples, only 8-hydroxyguanine and 2,6-diamino-4-hydroxy-5-formamidopyrimidine were significantly excised from both DNA substrates. This is in agreement with the substrate specificities of other eukaryotic Ogg1 proteins that had previously been studied under identical conditions. Excision depended on incubation time, enzyme concentration, and substrate concentration and followed Michaelis-Menten kinetics. A significant dependence of excision on the nature of DNA substrate was observed in accord with previous studies on other DNA glycosylases. A comparison of excision kinetics pointed to significant differences between AtOgg1 and other Ogg1 proteins. We also investigated the effect of base-pairing on the excision using double-stranded oligodeoxynucleotides that contained 8-OH-Gua paired with each of the four DNA bases. The activity of AtOgg1 was most effective on the 8-OH-Gua:C pair with some or very low activity on other pairs in agreement with the activity of other Ogg1 proteins. The results unequivocally show that AtOgg1 possesses common substrates with other eukaryotic Ogg1 proteins albeit significant differences between their excision kinetics.