Monocytes, which play a crucial role in the immune system, are characterized by an enormous sensitivity to oxidative stress. As they lack four key proteins responsible for DNA damage response (DDR) pathways, they are especially prone to reactive oxygen species (ROS) exposure leading to oxidative DNA lesions and, consequently, ROS-driven apoptosis. Although such a phenomenon is of important biological significance in the regulation of monocyte/macrophage/dendritic cells’ balance, it also a challenge for monocytic mechanisms that have to provide and maintain genetic stability of its own DNA. Interestingly, apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1), which is one of the key proteins in two DDR mechanisms, base excision repair (BER) and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) pathways, operates in monocytic cells, although both BER and NHEJ are impaired in these cells. Thus, on the one hand, APE1 endonucleolytic activity leads to enhanced levels of both single- and double-strand DNA breaks (SSDs and DSBs, respectively) in monocytic DNA that remain unrepaired because of the impaired BER and NHEJ. On the other hand, there is some experimental evidence suggesting that APE1 is a crucial player in monocytic genome maintenance and stability through different molecular mechanisms, including induction of cytoprotective and antioxidant genes. Here, the dual face of APE1 is discussed.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited