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Abstract— DNA single-strand breaks were produced in uvrA and uvrB strains of E. coli K-12 after UV (254 nm) irradiation. These breaks appear to be produced both directly by photochemical events, and by a temperature-dependent process. Cyclobutane-type pyrimidine dimers are probably not the photoproducts that lead to the temperature-dependent breaks, since photoreactivation had no detectable effect on the final yield of breaks. The DNA strand breaks appear to be repairable by a process that requires DNA polymerase I and polynucleotide ligase, but not the recA, recB, recF, lexA101 or uvrD gene products. We hypothesize that these temperature-dependent breaks occur either as a result of breakdown of a thermolabile photoproduct, or as the initial endonucleolytic event of a uvrA, uvrB-independent excision repair process that acts on a UV photoproduct other than the cyclobutane-type pyrimidine dimer.