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Nucleic Acids Res. 1999 Nov 15;27(22):4476-82.

Oxidative damage-induced PCNA complex formation is efficient in xeroderma pigmentosum group A but reduced in Cockayne syndrome group B cells.

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  • 1Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Health, 5600 Nathan Shock Drive, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a processivity factor for DNA polymerases delta and epsilon, is essential for both DNA replication and repair. PCNA is required in the resynthesis step of nucleotide excision repair (NER). After UV irradiation, PCNA translocates into an insoluble protein complex, most likely associated with the nuclear matrix. It has not previously been investigated in vivo whether PCNA complex formation also takes place after oxidative stress. In this study, we have examined the involvement of PCNA in the repair of oxidative DNA damage. PCNA complex formation was studied in normal human cells after treatment with hydrogen peroxide, which generates a variety of oxidative DNA lesions. PCNA was detected by two assays, immunofluorescence and western blot analyses. We observed that PCNA redistributes from a soluble to a DNA-bound form during the repair of oxidative DNA damage. PCNA complex formation was analyzed in two human natural mutant cell lines defective in DNA repair: xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XP-A) and Cockayne syndrome group B (CS-B). XP-A cells are defective in overall genome NER while CS-B cells are defective only in the preferential repair of active genes. Immunofluorescent detection of PCNA complex formation was similar in normal and XP-A cells, but was reduced in CS-B cells. Consistent with this observation, western blot analysis in CS-B cells showed a reduction in the ratio of PCNA relocated as compared to normal and XP-A cells. The efficient PCNA complex formation observed in XP-A cells following oxidative damage suggests that formation of PCNA-dependent repair foci may not require the XPA gene product. The reduced PCNA complex formation observed in CS-B cells suggests that these cells are defective in the processing of oxidative DNA damage.

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