No Monkey Business: APE1 is a Critical DNA Repair Enzyme

Tue, 10/02/2012 - 15:10

APE1 (aka. HAP1, /Ref-1 or APEX) the mammalian ortholog of Escherichia coli Xth is a multifunctional protein possessing both DNA repair and transcriptional regulatory activity. APE1 acts essentially as master regulator of controlling cellular response to oxidative stress, and contributes to the genome stability (1).

IHC analysis of APE1

The vital role of APE1 seems to be due to its fundamental activity in the base excision repair pathway of DNA lesions; however APE1 subcellular distribution, in different mammalian cell types, is mainly nuclear and is critical in controlling cellular proliferative rate (2). Interestingly, the expression of APE1 is also connected to different tumorigenic processes as demonstrated by its immunohistochemical localization studies using anti-APE1 antibodies (3). The necessity of APE1 for cellular survival and its frequent overexpression in tumor cells strongly suggest a fundamental role of this protein in preventing cell death and in controlling cellular proliferation. APE1 is also capable of activating transcription factors, such as p53 and EGR1 (4) mainly involved in controlling cell-cycle arrest and apoptotic programs. Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that the heterogeneity of APE1 expression pattern is linked to different pathological conditions ranging from metabolic to differentiative disorders, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases as determined by Western blotting and immnolocalization studies using anti-APE1 antibodies (5). Further research on APE1 should shed light on a better understanding of its diverse functions and is an open area for research.

1. PMID: 17700625
2. PMID: 15694346
3. PMID: 15706084
4. PMID: 15674341
5. PMID: 15942031

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