Table of Contents
Molecular Biology International
Volume 2011, Article ID 542795, 12 pages
Review Article

Nucleotide Excision Repair in Caenorhabditis elegans

Department of Genetics, Medical Genetics Center, Erasmus MC, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Received 2 March 2011; Accepted 18 June 2011

Academic Editor: Giuseppina Giglia-Mari

Copyright © 2011 Hannes Lans and Wim Vermeulen. 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.


Nucleotide excision repair (NER) plays an essential role in many organisms across life domains to preserve and faithfully transmit DNA to the next generation. In humans, NER is essential to prevent DNA damage-induced mutation accumulation and cell death leading to cancer and aging. NER is a versatile DNA repair pathway that repairs many types of DNA damage which distort the DNA helix, such as those induced by solar UV light. A detailed molecular model of the NER pathway has emerged from in vitro and live cell experiments, particularly using model systems such as bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cell cultures. In recent years, the versatility of the nematode C. elegans to study DNA damage response (DDR) mechanisms including NER has become increasingly clear. In particular, C. elegans seems to be a convenient tool to study NER during the UV response in vivo, to analyze this process in the context of a developing and multicellular organism, and to perform genetic screening. Here, we will discuss current knowledge gained from the use of C. elegans to study NER and the response to UV-induced DNA damage.