Mammalian cells express two Rad23 homologs, HR23A and HR23B, which have been implicated in regulation of proteolysis via the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway. Recently, the proteins have been shown to stabilize xeroderma pigmentosum group C (XPC) protein that is involved in DNA damage recognition for nucleotide excision repair (NER). Because the vast majority of XPC forms a complex with HR23B rather than HR23A, we investigated possible differences between the two Rad23 homologs in terms of their effects on the XPC protein. In wild-type mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), endogenous XPC was found to be relatively stable, while its steady-state level and stability appeared significantly reduced by targeted disruption of the mHR23B gene, but not by that of mHR23A. Loss of both mHR23 genes caused a strong further reduction of the XPC protein level. Quantification of the two mHR23 proteins revealed that in normal cells mHR23B is actually ∼10 times more abundant than mHR23A. In addition, overexpression of mHR23A in the mHR23A/B double knock out cells restored not only the steady-state level and stability of the XPC protein, but also cellular NER activity to near wild-type levels. These results indicate that the two Rad23 homologs are largely functionally equivalent in NER, and that the difference in expression levels explains for a major part the difference in complex formation with as well as stabilization effects on XPC.

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D N A Repair
Department of Molecular Genetics

Okuda, Y, Nishi, R, Ng, J.M.Y, Vermeulen, W, van der Horst, G.T.J, Mori, T, … Sugasawa, K. (2004). Relative levels of the two mammalian Rad23 homologs determine composition and stability of the xeroderma pigmentosum group C protein complex. D N A Repair, 3(10), 1285–1295. doi:10.1016/j.dnarep.2004.06.010