Transcription-coupled DNA repair (TCR) acts on lesions in the transcribed strand of active genes. Helix distorting adducts and other forms of DNA damage often interfere with the progression of the transcription apparatus. Prolonged stalling of RNA polymerase can promote genome instability and also induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. These generally unfavorable events are counteracted by RNA polymerase-mediated recruitment of specific proteins to the sites of DNA damage to perform TCR and eventually restore transcription. In this perspective we discuss the decision-making process to employ TCR and we elucidate the intricate biochemical pathways leading to TCR in E. coli and human cells.
Keywords: Backtracking; DNA repair; Mfd; TCR; Transcription elongation; UvrD; ppGpp.
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