Human XPG nuclease makes the 3′ incision during nucleotide excision repair of DNA. The enzyme cleaves model DNA bubble structures specifically near the junction of unpaired DNA with a duplex region. It is not yet known, however, whether an unpaired structure is an intermediate during actual DNA repair. We find here that XPG requires opening of >5 bp for efficient cleavage. To seek direct evidence for formation of an open structure around a lesion in DNA during a nucleotide excision repair reaction in vitro, KMnO4 footprinting experiments were performed on a damaged DNA molecule bearing a uniquely placed cisplatin adduct. An unwound open complex spanning ∼25 nucleotides was observed that extended to the positions of 5′ and 3′ incision sites and was dependent on XPA protein and on ATP. Opening during repair occurred prior to strand incision by XPG.
- Received September 6, 1996.
- Revision received October 17, 1996.
- Copyright © 1997 European Molecular Biology Organization