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Base excision repair (BER) is a cellular mechanism that repairs damaged or incorrect bases in DNA. Although several variations of this mechanism exist, three general steps are present in each. First, DNA glycosylase breaks the beta-N glycosidic bond to create an AP site, a location along the DNA strand where there is neither a purine or pyrimidine base. AP endonuclease then recognizes this site and cuts the damaged DNA strand upstream of the AP site, thus producing a 3?-OH terminus. Lastly, DNA polymerase uses endonuclease activity to replace the damaged nucleotide and extend the 3?-OH terminus and DNA ligase seals the new DNA strand.

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