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J Biol Chem. 1986 Dec 15;261(35):16666-72.

Characterization of a DNA repair domain containing the dihydrofolate reductase gene in Chinese hamster ovary cells.


The formation and removal of UV-induced pyrimidine dimers were measured in restriction fragments near and within the essential dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) gene in Chinese hamster ovary cells in order to map the genomic fine structure of DNA repair. Dimer frequencies were determined at 0, 8, and 24 h after irradiating the cells with 20 J/m2 UV light (254 nm). Within 8 h, the cells had removed more than 40% of the dimers from sequences near the 5' end of the gene, somewhat fewer from the 3' end, but only 2% from the 3' flanking region and 10% from a region upstream from the gene. The corresponding extent of repair in the genome as a whole is 5-10% in the 8-h period. Isoschizomeric restriction enzyme analysis was used to detect the level of methylation in the fragments in which repair was measured. We found that the only hypomethylated sites in and around the DHFR gene were in the fragment near its 5' end, which displayed maximal DNA repair efficiency. The size of the region of preferential DNA repair at the DHFR locus appears to be in the range of 50-80 kilobases, and this finding is discussed in relation to genomic domains and the structure of mammalian chromatin.

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