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DNA Repair (Amst). 2006 Jan 5;5(1):13-22. Epub 2005 Aug 29.

Host cell reactivation of plasmids containing oxidative DNA lesions is defective in Cockayne syndrome but normal in UV-sensitive syndrome fibroblasts.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA.


UV-sensitive syndrome (UV(S)S) is a human DNA repair-deficient disease with mild clinical manifestations. No neurological or developmental abnormalities or predisposition to cancer have been reported. In contrast, Cockayne syndrome (CS) patients exhibit severe developmental and neurological defects, in addition to photosensitivity. The cellular and biochemical responses of UV(S)S and CS cells to UV are indistinguishable, and result from defective transcription-coupled repair (TCR) of photoproducts in expressed genes. We propose that UV(S)S patients develop normally because they are proficient in repair of oxidative base damage. Consistent with our model, we show that Cockayne syndrome cells from complementation groups A and B (CS-A, CS-B) are more sensitive to treatment with hydrogen peroxide than wild type or UV(S)S cells. Using a host cell reactivation assay with plasmids containing UV-induced photoproducts, we find that expression of the plasmid-encoded lacZ gene is reduced in the TCR-deficient CS-B and UV(S)S cells. When the plasmids contain the oxidative base lesion thymine glycol, CS-B cells are defective in recovery of expression, whereas UV(S)S cells show levels of expression similar to those in wild type cells. 8-oxoguanine in the plasmids result in similarly defective host cell reactivation in CS-A and CS-B cells; abasic sites or single strand breaks in the plasmids cause similar decreases in expression in all the cell lines examined. Repair of thymine glycols in the lacZ gene was measured in plasmids extracted from transfected cells; removal of the lesions is efficient and without strand bias in all the cell lines tested.

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