Identification of APN2, the Saccharomyces cerevisiae homolog of the major human AP endonuclease HAP1, and its role in the repair of abasic sites.
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.