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DNA Repair (Amst). 2006 Jan 5;5(1):43-51. Epub 2005 Aug 18.

Base excision repair by hNTH1 and hOGG1: a two edged sword in the processing of DNA damage in gamma-irradiated human cells.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, The Markey Center for Molecular Genetics, The University of Vermont, 95 Carrigan Drive, Stafford Hall, Burlington, VT 05405-0068, USA.


Using siRNA technology, we down-regulated in human B-lymphoblastoid TK6 cells the two major oxidative DNA glycosylases/AP lyases that repair free radical-induced base damages, hNTH1 and hOGG1. The down-regulation of hOGG1, the DNA glycosylase whose main substrate is the mutagenic but not cytotoxic 8-oxoguanine, resulted in reduced radiation cytotoxicity and decreased double strand break (DSB) formation post-irradiation. This supports the idea that the oxidative DNA glycosylases/AP lyases convert radiation-induced clustered DNA lesions into lethal DSBs and is in agreement with our previous finding that overexpression of hNTH1 and hOGG1 in TK6 cells increased radiation lethality, mutant frequency at the thymidine kinase locus and the enzymatic production of DSBs post-irradiation [N. Yang, H. Galick, S.S. Wallace, Attempted base excision repair of ionizing radiation damage in human lymphoblastoid cells produces lethal and mutagenic double strand breaks, DNA Repair (Amst) 3 (2004) 1323-1334]. Interestingly, cells deficient in hNTH1, the DNA glycosylase that repairs a major lethal single free radical damage, thymine glycol, were more radiosensitive but at the same time fewer DSBs were formed post-irradiation. These results indicate that hNTH1 plays two roles in the processing of radiation damages: repair of potentially lethal single lesions and generation of lethal DSBs at clustered damage sites. In contrast, in hydrogen peroxide-treated cells where the majority of free radical DNA damages are single lesions, the base excision repair pathway functioned to protect the cells. Here, overexpression of hNTH1 and hOGG1 resulted in reduced cell killing while suppression of glycosylase expression resulted in elevated cell death.

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