Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
EMBO J. 1994 Mar 1;13(5):1235-46.

The characterization of a mammalian DNA structure-specific endonuclease.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305-5324.


The repair of some types of DNA double-strand breaks is thought to proceed through DNA flap structure intermediates. A DNA flap is a bifurcated structure composed of double-stranded DNA and a displaced single-strand. To identify DNA flap cleaving activities in mammalian nuclear extracts, we created an assay utilizing a synthetic DNA flap substrate. This assay has allowed the first purification of a mammalian DNA structure-specific nuclease. The enzyme described here, flap endonuclease-1 (FEN-1), cleaves DNA flap strands that terminate with a 5' single-stranded end. As expected for an enzyme which functions in double-strand break repair flap resolution, FEN-1 cleavage is flap strand-specific and independent of flap strand length. Furthermore, efficient flap cleavage requires the presence of the entire flap structure. Substrates missing one strand are not cleaved by FEN-1. Other branch structures, including Holliday junctions, are also not cleaved by FEN-1. In addition to endonuclease activity, FEN-1 has a 5'-3' exonuclease activity which is specific for double-stranded DNA. The endo- and exonuclease activities of FEN-1 are discussed in the context of DNA replication, recombination and repair.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk