Excision repair of DNA is an important cellular response to DNA damage caused by a broad spectrum of physical and chemical agents. We have established a cell-free system in which damage-specific DNA repair synthesis can be demonstrated in vitro with nuclear extracts from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Repair synthesis of UV-irradiated plasmid DNA was observed in a radiation dose-dependent manner and was unaffected by mutations in the RAD1, RAD2, RAD3, RAD4, RADIO, or APN1 genes. DNA damaged with cis-platin was not recognized as a substrate for repair synthesis. Further examination of the repair synthesis observed with UV-irradiated DNA revealed that it is dependent on the presence of endonuclease III-sensitive lesions in DNA, but not pyrimidine dimers. These observations suggest that the repair synthesis observed in yeast nuclear extracts reflects base excision repair of DNA. Our data indicate that the patch size of this repair synthesis is at least seven nucleotides. This system is expected to facilitate the identification of specific gene products which participate in base excision repair in yeast.
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