DNA polymerase β-catalyzed-PCNA independent long patch base excision repair synthesis: A mechanism for repair of oxidatively damaged DNA ends in post-mitotic brain

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Oxidative DNA damage incidental to normal respiratory metabolism poses a particular threat to genomes of highly metabolic-long lived cells. We show that post-mitotic brain has capacity to repair oxidatively damaged DNA ends, which are targets of the long patch (LP) base excision repair (BER) subpathway. LP-BER relies, in part, on proteins associated with DNA replication, including proliferating cell nuclear antigen and is inherent to proliferating cells. Nonetheless, repair products are generated with brain extracts, albeit at slow rates, in the case of 5′-DNA ends modeled with tetrahydrofuran (THF). THF at this position is refractory to DNA polymerase β 5′-deoxyribose 5-phosphate lyase activity and drives repair into the LP-BER subpathway. Comparison of repair of 5′-THF-blocked termini in the post-mitotic rat brain and proliferative intestinal mucosa, revealed that in mucosa, resolution of damaged 5′-termini is accompanied by formation of larger repair products. In contrast, adducts targeted by the single nucleotide BER are proficiently repaired with both extracts. Our findings reveal mechanistic differences in BER processes selective for the brain versus proliferative tissues. The differences highlight the physiological relevance of the recently proposed 'Hit and Run' mechanism of alternating cleavage/synthesis steps, in the proliferating cell nuclear antigen-independent LP-BER process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)734-744
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2008



  • Base excision repair
  • Brain
  • DNA strand breaks
  • Oxidative DNA damage
  • Post-mitotic tissue
  • Proliferating cell nuclear antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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