Repair of pyrimidine dimers in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA of yeast irradiated with low doses of ultraviolet light

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The repair of damage induced by ultraviolet light has been examined in both the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The sensitive assay used in this study is based on the capacity of the bacteriophage T4 u.v. endonuclease to produce single-strand breaks in DNA that contains pyrimidine dimers, thus permitting the use of low fluences (doses) of u.v. The results demonstrate that virtually all of the dimers induced in the nuclear DNA of a repair-proficient strain (RAD+) are removed following dark incubation for four hours in growth medium. In contrast, the dimers induced in mitochondrial DNA by the same u.v. fluence are retained under the same conditions. In the excision-deficient mutant, rad1-2, no evidence was obtained for removal of pyrimidine dimers from nuclear DNA. Photoreactivation of both RAD+ and rad1-2 cultures resulted in decrease of dimers from both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. We conclude that an excision-repair mechanism operates on nuclear but not mitochondrial DNA in repair-proficient yeast, and that the rad1-2 mutant is defective in this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-795
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 15 1975
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Virology

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