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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Contributions of an endonuclease IV homologue to DNA repair in the African swine fever virus.

We recently demonstrated that African swine fever virus DNA polymerase X (Pol X) is extremely error-prone during single-nucleotide gap-filling and that the downstream ASFV DNA ligase seals 3' mismatched nicks with high efficiency. To further assess the credence of our hypothesis that these proteins may promote viral diversification by functioning within the context of an aberrant DNA repair pathway, herein we characterize the third protein expected to function in this system, a putative AP endonuclease (APE). Assays of the purified protein using oligonucleotide substrates unequivocally establish canonical APE activity, 3'-phosphatase and 3'-phosphodiesterase activities (in the context of a single-nucleotide gap), 3' --> 5' exonuclease activity (in the context of a nick), and nucleotide incision repair activity against 5,6-dihydrothymine. The 3' --> 5' exonuclease activity is shown to be highly dependent upon the identity of the nascent 3' base pair and to be inhibited when 2-deoxyribose-5-phosphate, rather than phosphate, constitutes the 5' moiety of the nick. ASFV APE retains activity when assayed in the presence of EDTA but is inactivated by incubation with 1,10-phenanthroline in the absence of a substrate, suggesting that it is an endonuclease IV homologue possessing intrinsic metal cofactors. The activities of ASFV APE, when considered alongside those of Pol X and ASFV DNA ligase, provide an enhanced understanding of (i) the types of damage that are likely to be sustained by the viral genome and (ii) the mechanisms by which the minimalist ASFV DNA repair pathway, consisting of just these three proteins, contributes to the fitness of the virus.[1]


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