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J Invest Dermatol. 2001 Nov;117(5):1156-61.

In situ visualization of ultraviolet-light-induced DNA damage repair in locally irradiated human fibroblasts.

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Radioisotope Research Center, Department of Dermatology, Nara Medical University, Kashihara, Nara, Japan.


We have developed a novel method that uses a microfilter mask to produce ultraviolet-induced DNA lesions in localized areas of the cell nucleus. This technique allows us to visualize localized DNA repair in situ using immunologic probes. Two major types of DNA photoproducts [cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and (6-4) photoproducts] were indeed detected in several foci per nucleus in normal human fibroblasts. They were repaired at those localized sites at different speeds, indicating that DNA photoproducts remain in relatively fixed nuclear positions during repair. A nucleotide excision repair protein, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, was recruited to the sites of DNA damage within 30 min after ultraviolet exposure. The level of proliferating cell nuclear antigen varied with DNA repair activity and diminished within 24 h. In contrast, almost no proliferating cell nuclear antigen fluorescence was observed within 3 h in xeroderma pigmentosum fibroblasts, which could not repair either type of photolesion. These results demonstrate that this technique is useful for visualizing the normal nucleotide excision repair process in vivo. Interestingly, however, in xeroderma pigmentosum cells, proliferating cell nuclear antigen appeared at ultraviolet damage sites after a delay and persisted as late as 72 h after ultraviolet exposure. This result suggests that this technique is also valuable for examining an incomplete or stalled nucleotide excision repair process caused by the lack of a single functional nucleotide excision repair protein. Thus, the technique provides a powerful approach to understanding the temporal and spatial interactions between DNA damage and damage-binding proteins in vivo.

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