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Biophys J. 1974 Jul;14(7):519-27.

Effect of caffeine on postreplication repair in human cells.


DNA synthesized shortly after ultraviolet (UV) irradiation of human cells is made in segments that are smaller than normal, but at long times after irradiation the segments made are normal in size. Upon incubation, both the shorter and the normal segments are elongated and joined by the insertion of exogenous nucleotides to form high molecular weight DNA as in nonirradiated cells. These processes occur in normal human cells, where UV-induced pyrimidine dimers are excised, as well as in xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) cells, where dimers are not excised. The effect of caffeine on these processes was determined for both normal human and XP cells. Caffeine, which binds to denatured regions of DNA, inhibited DNA chain elongation and joining in irradiated XP cells but not in irradiated normal human or nonirradiated cells. Caffeine also caused an alteration in the ability to recover synthesis of DNA of normal size at long times after irradiation in XP cells but not in normal cells.

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