The position of nucleosomes on DNA participates in gene regulation and DNA replication. Nucleosomes can be repressors by limiting access of factors to regulatory sequences, or activators by facilitating binding of factors to exposed DNA sequences on the surface of the core histones. The formation of UV induced DNA lesions, like cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs), is modulated by DNA bending around the core histones. Since CPDs are removed by nucleotide excision repair (NER) and photolyase repair, it is of paramount importance to understand how DNA damage and repair are tempered by the position of nucleosomes. In vitro, nucleosomes inhibit NER and photolyase repair. In vivo, nucleosomes slow down NER and considerably obstruct photoreactivation of CPDs. However, over-expression of photolyase allows repair of nucleosomal DNA in a second time scale. It is proposed that the intrinsic abilities of nucleosomes to move and transiently unwrap could facilitate damage recognition and repair in nucleosomal DNA.
Keywords: 6,4 Pyrimidine–pyrimidone dimers; Chromatin; Cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers; Nucleosome positioning; Nucleotide excision repair; Photolyase.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.