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Journal of Nucleic Acids
Volume 2010, Article ID 616342, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2010/616342
Review Article

True Lies: The Double Life of the Nucleotide Excision Repair Factors in Transcription and DNA Repair

Department of Functional Genomics, IGBMC, CNRS/INSERM/Université de Strasbourg, BP 163, 67404 Illkirch Cedex, Strasbourg, France

Received 12 April 2010; Accepted 21 May 2010

Academic Editor: Ashis Basu

Copyright © 2010 Nicolas Le May et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Nucleotide excision repair (NER) is a major DNA repair pathway in eukaryotic cells. NER removes structurally diverse lesions such as pyrimidine dimers, arising upon UV irradiation or bulky chemical adducts, arising upon exposure to carcinogens and some chemotherapeutic drugs. NER defects lead to three genetic disorders that result in predisposition to cancers, accelerated aging, neurological and developmental defects. During NER, more than 30 polypeptides cooperate to recognize, incise, and excise a damaged oligonucleotide from the genomic DNA. Recent papers reveal an additional and unexpected role for the NER factors. In the absence of a genotoxic attack, the promoters of RNA polymerases I- and II-dependent genes recruit XPA, XPC, XPG, and XPF to initiate gene expression. A model that includes the growth arrest and DNA damage 45 protein (Gadd45 ) and the NER factors, in order to maintain the promoter of active genes under a hypomethylated state, has been proposed but remains controversial. This paper focuses on the double life of the NER factors in DNA repair and transcription and describes the possible roles of these factors in the RNA synthesis process.