Excision repair of DNA is an important cellular response to DNA damage induced by radiation and many chemicals. In eukaryotes, base excision repair (BER) and nucleotide excision repair (NER) are two major excision repair pathways which are completed by a DNA ligation step. Using a cell-free system, we have determined the DNA ligase requirement during BER and NER of the yeast S. cerevisiae. Under nonpermissive conditions in extracts of the cdc9-2 temperature-sensitive mutant, DNA ligation in both BER and NER pathways was defective, and the repair patches were enlarged. At the permissive temperature (23 degrees C), DNA ligation during excision repair was only partially functional in the mutant extracts. In contrast, deleting the DNA ligase IV gene did not affect DNA ligation of BER or NER. Defective DNA ligation of BER and NER in cdc9-2 mutant extracts was complemented in vitro by purified yeast Cdc9 protein, but not by DNA ligase IV even when overexpressed. These results demonstrate that the ligation step of excision repair in yeast cell-free extracts is catalyzed specifically by the Cdc9 protein, the homologue of mammalian DNA ligase I.
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