Differential expression of the apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease (APE/ref-1) multifunctional DNA base excision repair gene during fetal development and in adult rat brain and testis

Teresa M. Wilson, Scott A. Rivkees, Walter A. Deutsch, Mark R. Kelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Scopus citations


The multifunctional mammalian apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease is responsible for the repair of AP sites in DNA. In addition, this enzyme has been shown to function as a redox factor facilitating the DNA binding capability of Jun-Jun homodimers and Fos-Jun heterodimers by altering their redox state and to be involved in calcium mediated transcriptional repression of the parathyroid hormone gene. Previous studies examining the tissue specific distribution of the AP endonuclease (APE) transcript and protein by Northern analysis and enzymatic assays, respectively, have shown that this gene is expressed in all tissues at relatively similar levels. In the current study, adult and fetal rat tissue sections were examined for the expression of the APE transcript in specific subpopulations of cells and during development by in situ hybridization. In the adult brain, the APE transcript showed a widespread, but heterogeneous pattern of expression. Predominant levels of transcript were detected in the suprachiasmatic nuclei, the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei, the hippocampus and the cerebellum. During fetal development, transcript was detected in all somatic sites examined with very high levels in the thymus, liver and developing brain. Examination of the adult testis indicated that the expression of the transcript varies with the stage of spermatogenesis with the highest levels being present over round spermatids. These results provide evidence that the APE gene is not homogeneously expressed, but rather is found in subpopulations of cells in the brain and testes and during development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-248
Number of pages12
JournalMutation Research - DNA Repair
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2 1996



  • AP endonuclease
  • Base excision repair
  • DNA repair
  • In situ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this