The apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease (APE/ref-1) DNA repair enzyme is elevated in premalignant and malignant cervical cancer

Yi Xu, David H. Moore, John Broshears, Lifei Liu, Teresa M. Wilson, Mark R. Kelley

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82 Scopus citations


The multifunctional mammalian apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease (APE) 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 capacity of JUN and FOS, HeLa AP-1, and numerous other transcription factors, including Myb, members of the CREB family and nuclear factor-κB. Although previously presumed to be ubiquitously expressed at comparable levels in all tissue and cell types, recent evidence has shown APE to vary significantly in its expression between tissues and even within tissues. To further characterize APE expression at various stages of cervical neoplasia, we investigated the levels of APE protein expression using immunohistochemistry in normal cervix, pre-invasive and invasive squamous lesions of the cervix, as well as in cervical cancer cell lines. We report here that the APE protein is predominantly expressed in the nuclei of cells from both primary tumours and cervical cell lines, but the level of APE protein is significantly and dramatically elevated in cervical cancer tissue. These results implicate the use of anti-APE antibodies as an effective reagent in the early detection of premalignant and malignant cancer of the cervix. These findings are suggestive that the increase of a DNA repair enzyme in cancerous cells may allow these cells to be refractive to chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3713-3719
Number of pages7
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number5 B
StatePublished - Sep 1 1997



  • APE/ref-1
  • DNA base excision repair
  • Immunohistochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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