Abasic (AP) sites arise in DNA through spontaneous base loss and enzymatic removal of damaged bases. APN1 encodes the major AP-endonuclease of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Human HAP1 (REF1) encodes the major AP endonuclease which, in addition to its role in DNA repair, functions as a redox regulatory protein. We identify APN2, the yeast homolog of HAP1 and provide evidence that Apn1 and Apn2 represent alternate pathways for repairing AP sites. The apn1Delta apn2Delta strain displays a highly elevated level of MMS-induced mutagenesis, which is dependent on the REV3, REV7, and REV1 genes. Our findings indicate that AP sites are highly cytotoxic and mutagenic in eukaryotes, and that the REV3, REV7-encoded DNA polymerase zeta mediates the mutagenic bypass of AP sites.
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