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Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Sep 1;40(17):8449-59. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

Involvement of Werner syndrome protein in MUTYH-mediated repair of oxidative DNA damage.

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Institute of Molecular Cancer Research, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.


Reactive oxygen species constantly generated as by-products of cellular metabolism readily attack genomic DNA creating mutagenic lesions such as 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-guanine (8-oxo-G) that promote aging. 8-oxo-G:A mispairs arising during DNA replication are eliminated by base excision repair initiated by the MutY DNA glycosylase homologue (MUTYH). Here, by using formaldehyde crosslinking in mammalian cell extracts, we demonstrate that the WRN helicase/exonuclease defective in the premature aging disorder Werner syndrome (WS) is recruited to DNA duplex containing an 8-oxo-G:A mispair in a manner dependent on DNA polymerase λ (Polλ) that catalyzes accurate DNA synthesis over 8-oxo-G. Similarly, by immunofluorescence, we show that Polλ is required for accumulation of WRN at sites of 8-oxo-G lesions in human cells. Moreover, we show that nuclear focus formation of WRN and Polλ induced by oxidative stress is dependent on ongoing DNA replication and on the presence of MUTYH. Cell viability assays reveal that depletion of MUTYH suppresses the hypersensitivity of cells lacking WRN and/or Polλ to oxidative stress. Biochemical studies demonstrate that WRN binds to the catalytic domain of Polλ and specifically stimulates DNA gap filling by Polλ over 8-oxo-G followed by strand displacement synthesis. Our results suggest that WRN promotes long-patch DNA repair synthesis by Polλ during MUTYH-initiated repair of 8-oxo-G:A mispairs.

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