Mutagenic and cytotoxic apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) sites are among the most frequent lesions in DNA. Repair of AP sites is initiated by AP endonucleases and most organisms possess two or more of these enzymes. Saccharomyces cerevisiae has AP endonuclease 1 (Apn1) as the major enzymatic activity with AP endonuclease 2 (Apn2) being an important backup. Schizosaccharomyces pombe also encodes two potential AP endonucleases, and Apn2 has been found to be the main repair activity, while Apn1 has no, or only a limited role in AP site repair. Here we have identified a new 5' exon (exon 1) in the apn1 gene and show that the inactivity of S. pombe Apn1 is due to a nonsense mutation in the fifth codon of this new exon. Reversion of this mutation restored the AP endonuclease activity of S. pombe Apn1. Interestingly, the apn1 nonsense mutation was only found in laboratory strains derived from L972 h(-) and not in unrelated isolates of S. pombe. Since all S. pombe laboratory strains originate from L972 h(-), it appears that all experiments involving S. pombe have been conducted in an apn1(-) mutant strain with a corresponding DNA repair deficiency. These observations have implications both for future research in S. pombe and for the interpretation of previously conducted epistatis analysis.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.