We have exposed confluent normal human fibroblasts to ultraviolet (UV) fluences of 5, 14, or 40 J/m2 and monitored the specific activity of post-UV repair synthesis in chromatin with [3H]thymidine pulses. We have shown that under conditions where no semiconservative deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis is detectable, the specific activity of repair label in micrococcal nuclease resistant (core particle) DNA is about one-fifth that in bulk DNA at all three UV fluences. On the other hand, the distribution of thymine-containing pyrimidine dimers in bulk and nuclease-resistant regions measured either immediately after irradiation or at later times showed no significant differences; preferential labeling of linker (nuclease-sensitive) DNA during repair synthesis is thus apparently not due to a predominance of UV-induced photoproducts in linker relative to core particle DNA in the nucleosome. Pulse and pulse-chase experiments at 14 or 40 J/m2 with normal human or repair-deficient xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) cells showed that at most 30% of repair label in all these cells shifts from nuclease-sensitive (linker) DNA to nuclease-resistant (core particle) DNA.
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