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Oncogene. 1996 Oct 17;13(8):1591-8.

p21waf1/cip1 protein associates with the detergent-insoluble form of PCNA concomitantly with disassembly of PCNA at nucleotide excision repair sites.

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  • 1Istituto di Patologia Generale, Universit√† di Pavia, Italy.


Evidence is presented that after exposure of normal human fibroblasts to UV-C light, nuclear binding of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) required for nucleotide excision repair, was rapidly triggered in the G1 and G2 phases of the cell cycle. Association to repair sites of the detergent-insoluble form of PCNA reached a peak 15-30 min after irradiation, and then decreased to basal levels within 24-48 h. In contrast, the nuclear association of p21 protein showed a slower kinetics, reaching maximal levels between 24 and 48 h but, similarly to PCNA, occurring only in G1 and G2 phases. Although the two proteins are known to be associated as detergent-soluble proteins, it is unknown whether they associate also in the detergent-insoluble form. To address this question, the chromatin-bound form of PCNA was released by using DNAse I. DNA digestion resulted in the almost complete release of PCNA from its binding sites, while only about 60% of nuclear-bound p21 could be solubilized. Immunoprecipitation of PCNA and p21 released by enzymatic digestion showed that p21 was associated with PCNA bound to late DNA repair sites. These results indicate that during nucleotide excision repair, nuclear binding of PCNA precedes that of p21 protein, and suggest that temporal association of p21 with the detergent-insoluble fraction is coincident with the disassembly of PCNA from DNA repair sites.

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