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The lyase activity of bifunctional DNA glycosylases and the 3′-diesterase activity of APE1 contribute to the repair of oxidized bases in nucleosomes

Publication year
2019
Author(s)
Maher, R. L.; Wallace, S. S.; Pederson, D. S.

The vast majority of oxidized bases that form in DNA are subject to base excision repair (BER). The DNA intermediates generated during successive steps in BER may prove mutagenic or lethal, making it critical that they be ‘handed’ from one BER enzyme to the next in a coordinated fashion. Here, we report that the handoff of BER intermediates that occurs during the repair of naked DNA substrates differs significantly from that in nucleosomes. During BER of oxidized bases in naked DNA, products generated by the DNA glycosylase NTHL1 were efficiently processed by the downstream enzyme, AP-endonuclease (APE1). In nucleosomes, however, NTHL1-generated products accumulated to significant levels and persisted for some time. During BER of naked DNA substrates, APE1 completely bypasses the inefficient lyase activity of NTHL1. In nucleosomes, the NTHL1-associated lyase contributes to BER, even in the presence of APE1. Moreover, in nucleosomes but not in naked DNA, APE1 was able to process NTHL1 lyase-generated substrates just as efficiently as it processed abasic sites. Thus, the lyase activity of hNTHL1, and the 3′ diesterase activity of APE1, which had been seen as relatively dispensable, may have been preserved during evolution to enhance BER in chromatin.

Research abstracts