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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2002 May;3(5):364-76.

The 3' 5' exonucleases.

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  • 1Institute of Veterinary Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Zürich Irchel, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland.


Over the past few years, several new 3' 5' exonucleases have been identified. In vitro studies of these enzymes have uncovered much about their potential functions in vivo, and certain organisms with a defect in 3' 5' exonucleases have an increased susceptibility to cancer, especially under conditions of stress. Here, we look at not only the newly discovered enzymes, but also at the roles of other 3' 5' exonucleases in the quality control of DNA synthesis, where they act as proofreading exonucleases for DNA polymerases during DNA replication, repair and recombination.

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