APE1: A Molecule of Focus with Neuroprotective and Anti-Cancer Properties
Apurinic/Apyrimidinic endonuclease (APE1) is a multi-functional, central enzyme of base excision repair (BER) pathway that takes care of oxidized base damage (AP sites and strand breaks) caused by both endogenous and exogenous oxidative DNA damaging agents. In repair function, APE1 exhibits majorly abasic (AP) endonuclease activity and stable interaction(s) with BER-pathway participant proteins. Second function of APE1 is redox activation of various transcription factors (TFs e.g., c-jun, NF-kB, p53 and HIF1α) and also named as redox effector factor 1(Ref-1). In redox function, APE1 reductively activates TFs involved in regulation of gene expression for cell survival mechanisms through stable pair-wise interaction(s). Recent studies have indicated that APE1 also possesses other distinct functions such as RNA metabolism, riboendonuclease activity and protein-protein interaction for maintaining cellular homeostasis. Altered APE1 expression has been reported in various cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. Taken together such findings advocates the necessity to delineate the underlying molecular mechanism(s) for understanding its role in various biological functions, that could be translated to its application in therapeutics against human diseases like cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and other pathologies such as cardiovascular diseases.