A mammalian apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease (AP endonuclease) is known to have two distinct functional domains. One domain is responsible for regulating the activity of Fos/Jun proto-oncogene products to bind to DNA at specific recognition sites. The other domain which is highly conserved from bacteria to mammals, is responsible for repairing DNA damage caused by ionizing radiation, oxidative damage, and alkylating agents. This study reports on the isolation and characterization of the genomic structure of the mouse AP endonuclease gene (Apex). The genomic sequence of the Apex gene was 2.14 kb in length and contained four exons. Exon 1 contained a 0.24-kb untranslated 5′ region upstream of the initiation codon. Consensus sequences for two CAAT boxes and a GC box were found upstream of the end of exon 1. A polymorphism was noted in the untranslated region of exon 1 in a comparison of a number of mouse strains. These data indicate that the 5′ end of the mouse gene (Apex) differs from the previously isolated human gene (Ape), which has five exons and an untranslated region between exons 1 and 2. Data are also presented that suggest the presence of two pseudogenes in the mouse.
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