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J Biol Chem. 2000 Feb 11;275(6):4460-6.

FEN1 stimulation of DNA polymerase beta mediates an excision step in mammalian long patch base excision repair.

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  • 1Laboratory of Structural Biology, NIEHS, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


In mammalian cells, single-base lesions, such as uracil and abasic sites, appear to be repaired by at least two base excision repair (BER) subpathways: "single-nucleotide BER" requiring DNA synthesis of just one nucleotide and "long patch BER" requiring multi-nucleotide DNA synthesis. In single-nucleotide BER, DNA polymerase beta (beta-pol) accounts for both gap filling DNA synthesis and removal of the 5'-deoxyribose phosphate (dRP) of the abasic site, whereas the involvement of various DNA polymerases in long patch BER is less well understood. Recently, we found that beta-pol plays a role in mammalian cell extract-mediated long patch BER, in that formation of a key excision product, 5'-dRP-trinucleotide (5'-dRP-N(3)), is dependent upon beta-pol (Dianov, G. L., Prasad, R., Wilson, S. H., and Bohr, V.A. (1999) J. Biol. Chem. 274, 13741-13743). The structure-specific endonuclease flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) has also been suggested to be involved in long patch BER excision. Here, we demonstrate by immunodepletion experiments that 5'-dRP-N(3) excision in long patch BER of uracil-DNA in a human lymphoid cell extract is, indeed, dependent upon FEN1. Next, we reconstituted the excision step of long patch BER using purified human proteins and an oligonucleotide substrate with 5'-dRP at the margin of a one-nucleotide gap. Formation of the excision product 5'-dRP-N(3) was dependent upon both strand displacement DNA synthesis by beta-pol and FEN1 excision. FEN1 stimulated strand displacement DNA synthesis of beta-pol. FEN1 acting either alone, or without DNA synthesis by beta-pol, produced a two-nucleotide excision product, 5'-dRP-N(1), but not 5'-dRP-N(3). These results demonstrate that human FEN1 and beta-pol can cooperate in long patch BER excision and specify the predominant excision product seen with a cell extract.

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