The excision of DNA lesions by human nucleotide excision repair (NER) has been extensively studied in human cell extracts. Employing DNA duplexes with fewer than 200 bp containing a single bulky, benzo[a]pyrene-derived guanine lesion (B[a]P-dG), the NER yields are typically on the order of ∼5-10%, or less. Remarkably, the NER yield is enhanced by a factor of ∼6 when the B[a]P-dG lesion is embedded in a covalently closed circular pUC19NN plasmid (contour length of 2686 bp) rather than in the same plasmid linearized by a restriction enzyme with the B[a]P-dG adduct positioned at the 945th nucleotide counted from the 5′-end of the linearized DNA molecules. Furthermore, the NER yield in the circular pUC19NN plasmid is ∼9 times greater than in a short 147-mer DNA duplex with the B[a]P-dG adduct positioned in the middle. Although the NER factors responsible for these differences were not explicitly identified here, we hypothesize that the initial DNA damage sensor XPC-RAD23B is a likely candidate; it is known to search for DNA lesions by a constrained one-dimensional search mechanism [Cheon, N. Y., et al. (2019) Nucleic Acids Res. 47, 8337-8347], and our results are consistent with the notion that it dissociates more readily from the blunt ends than from the inner regions of linear DNA duplexes, thus accounting for the remarkable enhancement in NER yields associated with the single B[a]P-dG adduct embedded in covalently closed circular plasmids.
ASJC Scopus subject areas