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DNA Repair (Amst). 2005 Jul 28;4(8):884-96.

Nucleotide excision repair in chromatin and the right of entry.

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Biochemistry and Biophysics, School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4660, USA.


DNA is packaged with histones and other accessory proteins into chromatin in eukaryotic cells. It is well established that the assembly of DNA into chromatin affects induction of DNA damage as well as repair of the damage. How the DNA repair machinery detects a lesion and 'fixes it' in chromatin has been an intriguing question since the dawn of understanding DNA packaging in chromatin. Direct recognition/binding by damaged DNA binding proteins is one obvious tactic to detect a lesion. Rearrangement of chromatin structure during DNA repair was reported more than two decades ago. This early observation suggests that unfolding of chromatin structure may be required to facilitate DNA repair after lesions are detected. Cells can also exploit DNA processing events to assist DNA repair. Transcription coupled repair (TCR) is such an example. During TCR, an RNA polymerase blocked by a lesion, may act as a signal to recruit DNA repair machinery. Possible roles of histone modification enzymes, ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes and chromatin assembly factors in DNA repair are discussed.

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