DNA damage can cause cell death unless it is either repaired or tolerated. The precise contributions of repair and tolerance mechanisms to cell survival have not been previously evaluated. Here we have analyzed the cell killing effect of the two major UV light-induced DNA lesions, cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) and 6-4 pyrimidine-pyrimidone photoproducts (6-4PPs), in nucleotide excision repair-deficient human cells by expressing pliotolyase(s) for light-dependent photorepair of either or both lesions. Immediate repair of the less abundant 6-4PPs enhances the survival rate to a similar extent as the immediate repair of CPDs, indicating that a single 6-4PP lesion is severalfold more toxic than a CPD in the cells. Because UV light-induced DNA damage is not repaired at all in nucleotide excision repair-deficient cells, proliferation of these cells after UV light irradiation must be achieved by tolerance of the damage at replication. We found that RNA interference designed to suppress polymerase ζ activity made the cells more sensitive to UV light. This increase in sensitivity was prevented by photorepair of 6-4PPs but not by photorepair of CPDs, indicating that polymerase ζ is involved in the tolerance of 6-4PPs in human cells.

doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M406070200, hdl.handle.net/1765/60249
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Department of Molecular Genetics

Nakajima, S, Lan, L, Kanno, S-I, Takao, M, Yamamoto, K, Eker, A.P.M, & Yasui, A. (2004). UV light-induced DNA damage and tolerance for the survival of nucleotide excision repair-deficient human cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 279(45), 46674–46677. doi:10.1074/jbc.M406070200