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J Biol Chem. 1999 Dec 31;274(53):37795-9.

The Werner syndrome gene product co-purifies with the DNA replication complex and interacts with PCNA and topoisomerase I.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Werner syndrome (WS) is a recessive disorder characterized by genomic instability and by the premature onset of a number of age-related diseases. To understand the molecular basis of this disease, we deleted a segment of the murine Wrn gene and created Wrn-deficient embryonic stem (ES) cells. At the molecular level, wild type-but not mutant-WS protein co-purifies through a series of centrifugation, chromatography, and sucrose gradient steps with the well characterized 17 S multiprotein DNA replication complex. Furthermore, wild type WS protein co-immunoprecipitates with a prominent component of the multiprotein replication complex, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). In vitro studies also indicate that PCNA binds to a region in the N terminus portion of the WS protein containing a potential 3'-5' exonuclease domain. Finally, human WS protein also co-immunoprecipitates with both PCNA and topoisomerase I. These results suggest that the WS protein interacts with several components of the DNA replication fork.

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