Indexed on: 31 Mar '09Published on: 31 Mar '09Published in: Journal of Biological Chemistry
Base excision repair, a major repair pathway in mammalian cells, is responsible for correcting DNA base damage and maintaining genomic integrity. Recent reports show that the Rad9-Rad1-Hus1 complex (9-1-1) stimulates enzymes proposed to perform a long patch-base excision repair sub-pathway (LP-BER), including DNA glycosylases, apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1), DNA polymerase beta (pol beta), flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1), and DNA ligase I (LigI). However, 9-1-1 was found to produce minimal stimulation of FEN1 and LigI in the context of a complete reconstitution of LP-BER. We show here that pol beta is a robust stimulator of FEN1 and a moderate stimulator of LigI. Apparently, there is a maximum possible stimulation of these two proteins such that after responding to pol beta or another protein in the repair complex, only a small additional response to 9-1-1 is allowed. The 9-1-1 sliding clamp structure must serve primarily to coordinate enzyme actions rather than enhancing rate. Significantly, stimulation by the polymerase involves interaction of primer terminus-bound pol beta with FEN1 and LigI. This observation provides compelling evidence that the proposed LP-BER pathway is actually employed in cells. Moreover, this pathway has been proposed to function by sequential enzyme actions in a "hit and run" mechanism. Our results imply that this mechanism is still carried out, but in the context of a multienzyme complex that remains structurally intact during the repair process.