Structure-specific endonuclease activity of SNM1A enables processing of a DNA interstrand crosslink Academic Article uri icon

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  • DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs) covalently join opposing strands, blocking both replication and transcription, therefore making ICL-inducing compounds highly toxic and ideal anti-cancer agents. While incisions surrounding the ICL are required to remove damaged DNA, it is currently unclear which endonucleases are needed for this key event. SNM1A has been shown to play an important function in human ICL repair, however its suggested role has been limited to exonuclease activity and not strand incision. Here we show that SNM1A has endonuclease activity, having the ability to cleave DNA structures that arise during the initiation of ICL repair. In particular, this endonuclease activity cleaves single-stranded DNA. Given that unpaired DNA regions occur 5' to an ICL, these findings suggest SNM1A may act as either an endonuclease and/or exonuclease during ICL repair. This finding is significant as it expands the potential role of SNM1A in ICL repair.


  • Buzon, Beverlee
  • Grainger, Ryan
  • Huang, Simon
  • Rzadki, Cameron
  • Junop, Murray

publication date

  • September 28, 2018

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