Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Aug 31;107(35):15517-22. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1005203107. Epub 2010 Aug 9.

Roles for the transcription elongation factor NusA in both DNA repair and damage tolerance pathways in Escherichia coli.

Author information

Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


We report observations suggesting that the transcription elongation factor NusA promotes a previously unrecognized class of transcription-coupled repair (TCR) in addition to its previously proposed role in recruiting translesion synthesis (TLS) DNA polymerases to gaps encountered during transcription. Earlier, we reported that NusA physically and genetically interacts with the TLS DNA polymerase DinB (DNA pol IV). We find that Escherichia coli nusA11(ts) mutant strains, at the permissive temperature, are highly sensitive to nitrofurazone (NFZ) and 4-nitroquinolone-1-oxide but not to UV radiation. Gene expression profiling suggests that this sensitivity is unlikely to be due to an indirect effect on gene expression affecting a known DNA repair or damage tolerance pathway. We demonstrate that an N(2)-furfuryl-dG (N(2)-f-dG) lesion, a structural analog of the principal lesion generated by NFZ, blocks transcription by E. coli RNA polymerase (RNAP) when present in the transcribed strand, but not when present in the nontranscribed strand. Our genetic analysis suggests that NusA participates in a nucleotide excision repair (NER)-dependent process to promote NFZ resistance. We provide evidence that transcription plays a role in the repair of NFZ-induced lesions through the isolation of RNAP mutants that display altered ability to survive NFZ exposure. We propose that NusA participates in an alternative class of TCR involved in the identification and removal of a class of lesion, such as the N(2)-f-dG lesion, which are accurately and efficiently bypassed by DinB in addition to recruiting DinB for TLS at gaps encountered by RNAP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Publication types, MeSH terms, Substances, Grant support

Publication types

MeSH terms


Grant support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center