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Mol Cell. 2002 Nov;10(5):1201-11.

Flap endonuclease 1 efficiently cleaves base excision repair and DNA replication intermediates assembled into nucleosomes.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Flap Endonuclease 1 (FEN1) plays important roles both in DNA replication and in base excision repair (BER). However, in both processes FEN1 substrates are likely to be assembled into chromatin. In order to examine how FEN1 is able to work within chromatin, we prepared model nucleosome substrates containing FEN1-cleavable DNA flaps. We find that human FEN1 binds and cleaves such substrates with efficiencies similar to that displayed with naked DNA. Moreover, we demonstrate that both FEN1 and human DNA ligase I can operate successively on DNA within the same nucleosome. These results suggest that some BER steps may not require nucleosome remodeling in vivo and that FEN 1 activity during Okazaki fragment processing can occur on nucleosomal substrates.

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