Ultraviolet light (UV) is thought to have had a major impact on the early evolution of life. UV is absorbed by nucleic acids and produces several types of DNA damage, which interfere with DNA replication and transcription. This damage can result in mutagenesis and cell killing. Several mechanisms for repairing UV-induced DNA damage have been identified. Besides the widely distributed nucleotide excision repair, two alternative repair mechanisms for specific lesions in UV-damaged DNA are known, involving photolyases and DNA glycosylases. Recently, a novel endonuclease for UV-induced DNA damage was identified that initiates an excision repair pathway completely different from previously established repair mechanisms. The finding of this 'alternative excision repair' suggests the presence of a new category of DNA repair, initiated by single-strand breaks in DNA. Homologues of the UVDE enzyme have been found in eukaryotic microorganisms, as well as in bacteria, indicating that the enzyme originated early in evolution, and suggesting the existence of multirepair systems for UV-induced DNA damage during early evolution.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 1998 Jan 1|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)