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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Nov 30;101(48):16762-7. Epub 2004 Nov 19.

The human Rad9-Rad1-Hus1 checkpoint complex stimulates flap endonuclease 1.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


The toroidal damage checkpoint complex Rad9-Rad1-Hus1 (9-1-1) has been characterized as a sensor of DNA damage. Flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) is a structure-specific nuclease involved both in removing initiator RNA from Okazaki fragments and in DNA repair pathways. FEN1 activity is stimulated by proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a toroidal sliding clamp that acts as a platform for DNA replication and repair complexes. We show that 9-1-1 also binds and stimulates FEN1. Stimulation is observed on a variety of flap, nick, and gapped substrates simulating repair intermediates. Blocking 9-1-1 entry to the double strands prevents a portion of the stimulation. Like PCNA stimulation, 9-1-1 stimulation cannot circumvent the tracking mechanism by which FEN1 enters the substrate; however, 9-1-1 does not substitute for PCNA in the stimulation of DNA polymerase beta. This suggests that 9-1-1 is a damage-specific activator of FEN1.

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