Photorepair prevents ultraviolet-induced apoptosis in human cells expressing the marsupial photolyase gene

Vanessa Chiganças, Eliane Namie Miyaji, Alysson Renato Muotri, Jacqueline De Fátima Jacysyn, Gustavo Pessini Amarante-Mendes, Akira Yasui, Carlos Frederico Martins Menck

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    44 Citations (Scopus)


    Photolyase absorbs blue light and employs the energy to remove UV- induced DNA damage, cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers, or pyrimidine pyrimidone (6-4) lesions. These enzymes have been found in many living organisms ranging from bacteria to aplacental mammals, but their photoreactivation effect, such as survival increase of UV-irradiated cells by light-illumination, has not been identified in placental mammals, including humans. Therefore, we introduced a photolyase gene derived from the marsupial rat kangaroo, Potorous tridactylus, into HeLa cells and established the first human cell line capable of photorepairing UV-induced pyrimidine dimers. Several clones were found to increase cell survival after UV irradiation when illuminated by fluorescent light. The induction of apoptosis by UV irradiation was investigated in these photoreactivation-proficient cells. Several typical features of the programmed cell death, such as internucleosomal DNA degradation, presence of subdiploid cells, loss of membrane integrity, and chromosomal condensation, were found to be induced by UV in the HeLa cells, but they can be reduced by photorepair. This implicates that cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers cause UV-induced apoptosis in human cells.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2458-2463
    Number of pages6
    JournalCancer Research
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2000 May 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cancer Research
    • Oncology


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