The OsGEN-L protein from Oryza sativa possesses Holliday junction resolvase activity as well as 5′-flap endonuclease activity

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OsGEN-L has a 5′-flap endonuclease activity and plays an essential role in rice microspore development. The Class 4 RAD2/XPG family nucleases, including OsGEN-L, were recently found to have resolving activity for the Holliday junction (HJ), the intermediate of DNA strand recombination. In this study, we performed a detailed characterization of OsGEN-L, as a structure-specific endonuclease. Highly purified OsGEN-L was prepared as the full-length protein for in vitro endonuclease assays using various structured DNAs, and the 5′-flap endonuclease activity, which is stimulated in a PCNA-dependent manner, was demonstrated. In addition, the in vitro HJ resolving activity of OsGEN-L represents the first such activity originating from plant cells. OsGEN-L cleaved HJ at symmetrically related sites of the branch point. However, the two branched strands seemed to be cleaved individually, and not cooperatively, by each OsGEN-L monomer protein. The substrate specificity suggests that OsGEN-L functions in multiple processes of DNA metabolism in rice cells.

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