Molecular analysis of plasmid DNA repair within ultraviolet-irradiated Escherichia coli. II. UvrABC-initiated excision repair and photolyase-catalyzed dimer monomerization

E. A. Gruskin, R. S. Lloyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


In this study, a novel approach to the analysis of DNA repair in Escherichia coli was employed which allowed the first direct determination of the mechanisms by which endogenous DNA repair enzymes encounter target sites in vivo. An in vivo plasmid DNA repair analysis was employed to discriminate between two possible mechanisms of target site location: a processive DNA scanning mechanism or a distributive random diffusion mechanism. The results demonstrate that photolyase acts by a distributive mechanism within E. coli. In contrast, UvrABC-initiated excision repair occurs by a limited processive DNA scanning mechanism. A majority of the dimer sites on a given plasmid molecule were repaired prior to the dissociation of the UvrABC complex. Furthermore, plasmid DNA repair catalyzed by the UvrABC complex occurs without a detectable accumulation of nicked plasmid intermediates despite the fact that the UvrABC complex generates dual incisions in the DNA at the site of a pyrimidine dimer. Therefore, the binding or assembly of the UvrABC complex on DNA at the site of a pyrimidine dimer represents the rate-limiting step in the overall process of UvrABC-initiated excision repair in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12738-12743
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 1 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this