Excision repair of UV-damaged plasmid DNA in Xenopus oocytes is mediated by DNA polymerase alpha (and/or delta).

Abstract:

We studied DNA repair by injecting plasmids containing random pyrimidine dimers into Xenopus oocytes. We demonstrated excision repair by recovering plasmids and analyzing them with T4 UV endonuclease treatment and alkaline agarose gel electrophoresis. The mechanism for excision repair of these plasmids appears to be processive, rather than distributive, since repair occurs in 'all or none' fashion. At less than 4-5 dimers/plasmid, nearly all repair occurs within 4-6 hours (approximately 10(10) dimers repaired per oocyte); the oocyte, therefore, has abundant repair activity. Specific antibodies and inhibitors were used to determine enzymes involved in repair. We conclude that DNA polymerase alpha (and/or delta) is required because repair is inhibited by antibodies to human DNA polymerase alpha, as well as by aphidicolin, an inhibitor of polymerases alpha (and/or delta). Repair was not inhibited by hydroxyurea, cytosine beta-D-arabinofuranoside, or inhibitors of topoisomerase II (novobiocin). Oocyte repair does not activate semi-conservative DNA replication, nor is protein synthesis required. Photoreactivation cannot account for repair because dimer removal is independent of exogenous light.

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