GEN1 endonuclease: Purification and nuclease assays
Successful chromosome segregation depends on the timely removal of DNA recombination and replication intermediates that interlink sister chromatids. These intermediates are acted upon by structure-selective endonucleases that promote incisions close to the junction point. GEN1, a member of the Rad2/XPG endonuclease family, was identified on the basis of its ability to cleave Holliday junction recombination intermediates. Resolution occurs by a nick and counter-nick mechanism in strands that are symmetrically related across the junction point, leading to the formation of ligatable nicked duplex products. The actions of GEN1 are, however, not restricted to HJs, as 5'-flaps and replication fork structures also serve as excellent in vitro substrates for the nuclease. In the cellular context, GEN1 activity is observed late in the cell cycle, as most of the protein is excluded from the nucleus, such that it gains access to DNA intermediates after the breakdown of nuclear envelope. Nuclear exclusion ensures the protection of replication forks and other DNA secondary structures important for normal metabolic processes. In this chapter, we describe the purification of recombinant GEN1 and detail biochemical assays involving the use of synthetic DNA substrates and cruciform-containing plasmids.
Journal Methods in Enzymology