Damage to actively transcribed DNA is preferentially repaired by the transcription-coupled repair (TCR) system. TCR requires RNA polymerase II (Pol II), but the mechanism by which repair enzymes preferentially recognize and repair DNA lesions on Pol II-transcribed genes is incompletely understood. Herein we demonstrate that a fraction of the large subunit of Pol II (Pol II LS) is ubiquitinated after exposing cells to UV-radiation or cisplatin but not several other DNA damaging agents. This novel covalent modification of Pol II LS occurs within 15 min of exposing cells to UV- radiation and persists for about 8-12 hr. Ubiquitinated Pol II LS is also phosphorylated on the C-terminal domain. UV-induced ubiquitination of Pol II LS is deficient in fibroblasts from individuals with two forms of Cockayne syndrome (CS-A and CS-B), a rare disorder in which TCR is disrupted. UV- induced ubiquitination of Pol II LS can be restored by introducing cDNA constructs encoding the CSA or CSB genes, respectively, into CS-A or CS-B fibroblasts. These results suggest that ubiquitination of Pol II LS plays a role in the recognition and/or repair of damage to actively transcribed genes. Alternatively, these findings may reflect a rule played by the CSA and CSB gene products in transcription.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Oct 15 1996|
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