An apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease (E.C.22.214.171.124) has been purified 1100 fold to apparent homogeneity from calf thymus by a series of ion exchange, gel filtration and hydrophobic interaction chromatographies. The purified AP endonuclease is a monomeric protein with an apparent molecular weight on SDS-PAGE of 37,000. On gel filtration the protein behaves as a protein of apparent molecular weight 40,000. DNA cleavage by this AP endonuclease is dependent on the presence AP sites in the DNA. DNA cleavage requires the divalent cation Mg 2+and has a broad pH optimum of 7.5-9.0. Maximal rates of catalysis occur at NaCl or KC1 concentrations of 25-50 mM. The amino acid composition and the amino-terminal amino acid sequence for this AP endonuclease are presented. Comparison of the properties of this AP endonuclease purified from calf thymus with the reported properties of the human AP endonuclease purified from HeLa cells or placenta indicate that the properties of such an AP endonuclease are highly conserved in these two mammalian species.
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