Recognizes base lesions in the genome and initiates base excision DNA repair. Acts as a monofunctional DNA glycosylase specific for uracil (U) residues in DNA with a preference for single-stranded DNA substrates. The activity is greater toward mismatches (U/G) compared to matches (U/A). Excises uracil (U), 5-formyluracil (fU) and uracil derivatives bearing an oxidized group at C5 [5-hydroxyuracil (hoU) and 5-hydroxymethyluracil (hmU)] in ssDNA and dsDNA, but not analogous cytosine derivatives (5-hydroxycytosine and 5-formylcytosine), nor other oxidized bases. The activity is damage-specific and salt-dependent. The substrate preference is the following: ssDNA > dsDNA (G pair) = dsDNA (A pair) at low salt concentration, and dsDNA (G pair) > dsDNA (A pair) > ssDNA at high salt concentration.