Very little is known about the molecular mechanism of nucleotide excision repair in eukaryotes. Studies on human cells have been stimulated by the availability of excision repair-defective cell lines from patients suffering from the autosomal recessive disease xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). Such studies have contributed significantly to an understanding of the genetic complexity of excision repair in human cells. However, to date, no human excision repair genes or gene products known to complement the repair defect in XP cells have been isolated. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an interesting model for exploring the molecular mechanism of nucleotide excision repair in eukaryotic cells. As is true in human cells, multiple yeast genes are involved and at least five genes are required for the specific incision of UV-irradiated DNA in vivo. These five genes have been isolated by molecular cloning and the nucleotide sequences of four of them have been determined. Each of these cloned genes is being used for overexpression of protein.
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