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DNA Repair (Amst). 2009 Jun 4;8(6):682-9. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2009.03.005. Epub 2009 Apr 18.

Nuclear translocation contributes to regulation of DNA excision repair activities.

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  • 1Department of Science, Systems and Models, Roskilde University, Universitetsvej 1, 4000 Roskilde, Denmark.


DNA mutations are circumvented by dedicated specialized excision repair systems, such as the base excision repair (BER), nucleotide excision repair (NER), and mismatch repair (MMR) pathways. Although the individual repair pathways have distinct roles in suppressing changes in the nuclear DNA, it is evident that proteins from the different DNA repair pathways interact [Y. Wang, D. Cortez, P. Yazdi, N. Neff, S.J. Elledge, J. Qin, BASC, a super complex of BRCA1-associated proteins involved in the recognition and repair of aberrant DNA structures, Genes Dev. 14 (2000) 927-939; M. Christmann, M.T. Tomicic, W.P. Roos, B. Kaina, Mechanisms of human DNA repair: an update, Toxicology 193 (2003) 3-34; N.B. Larsen, M. Rasmussen, L.J. Rasmussen, Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA repair: similar pathways? Mitochondrion 5 (2005) 89-108]. Protein interactions are not only important for function, but also for regulation of nuclear import that is necessary for proper localization of the repair proteins. This review summarizes the current knowledge on nuclear import mechanisms of DNA excision repair proteins and provides a model that categorizes the import by different mechanisms, including classical nuclear import, co-import of proteins, and alternative transport pathways. Most excision repair proteins appear to contain classical NLS sequences directing their nuclear import, however, additional import mechanisms add alternative regulatory levels to protein import, indirectly affecting protein function. Protein co-import appears to be a mechanism employed by the composite repair systems NER and MMR to enhance and regulate nuclear accumulation of repair proteins thereby ensuring faithful DNA repair.

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