Nucleotide excision repair of the 5 S ribosomal RNA gene assembled into a nucleosome

Xiaoqi Liu, Michael J. Smerdon

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56 Scopus citations


A-175-base pair fragment containing the Xenopus borealis somatic 5 S ribosomal RNA gene was used as a model system to determine the effect of nucleosome assembly on nucleotide excision repair (NER) of the major UV photoproduct (cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD)) in DNA. Xenopus oocyte nuclear extracts were used to carry out repair in vitro on reconstituted, positioned 5 S rDNA nucleosomes. Nucleosome structure strongly inhibits NER at many CPD sites in the 5 S rDNA fragment while having little effect at a few sites. The time course of CPD removal at 35 different sites indicates that >85% of the CPDs in the naked DNA fragment have t( 1/2 ) values <2 h, whereas <26% of the t( 1/2 ) values in nucleosomes are <2 h, and 15% are >8 h. Moreover, removal of histone tails from these mononucleosomes has little effect on the repair rates. Finally, nucleosome inhibition of repair shows no correlation with the rotational setting of a 14-nucleotide-long pyrimidine tract located 30 base pairs from the nucleosome dyad. These results suggest that inhibition of NER by mononucleosomes is not significantly influenced by the rotational orientation of CPDs on the histone surface, and histone tails play little (or no) role in this inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23729-23735
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number31
StatePublished - Aug 4 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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