Jason L Parsons

University of Liverpool, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (36)223.8 Total impact

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    Matthew J. Edmonds, Jason L. Parsons
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    ABSTRACT: Human cellular DNA is under constant attack from both endogenous and exogenous mutagens, and consequently the base excision repair (BER) pathway plays a vital role in repairing damaged DNA bases, sites of base loss (apurinic/apyrimidinic sites) and DNA single strand breaks of varying complexity. BER thus maintains genome stability, and prevents the development of human diseases, such as premature aging, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Indeed, there is accumulating evidence that misregulation of BER protein levels is observed in cells and tissues from patients with these diseases, and that post-translational modifications, particularly ubiquitylation, perform a key role in controlling BER protein stability. This review will summarise the presently available data on ubiquitylation of some of the key BER proteins, and the functional consequences of this modification.
    Experimental Cell Research 11/2014; · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    Catherine M Nickson, Jason L Parsons
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    ABSTRACT: Base excision repair (BER) is the predominant cellular mechanism by which human cells repair DNA base damage, sites of base loss, and DNA single strand breaks of various complexity, that are generated in their thousands in every human cell per day as a consequence of cellular metabolism and exogenous agents, including ionizing radiation. Over the last three decades the comet assay has been employed in scientific research to examine the cellular response to these types of DNA damage in cultured cells, therefore revealing the efficiency and capacity of BER. We have recently pioneered new research demonstrating an important role for post-translational modifications (particularly ubiquitylation) in the regulation of cellular levels of BER proteins, and that subtle changes (∼20-50%) in protein levels following siRNA knockdown of E3 ubiquitin ligases or deubiquitylation enzymes can manifest in significant changes in DNA repair capacity monitored using the comet assay. For example, we have shown that the E3 ubiquitin ligase Mule, the tumor suppressor protein ARF, and the deubiquitylation enzyme USP47 modulate DNA repair by controlling cellular levels of DNA polymerase β, and also that polynucleotide kinase phosphatase levels are controlled by ATM-dependant phosphorylation and Cul4A-DDB1-STRAP-dependent ubiquitylation. In these studies we employed a modification of the comet assay whereby cultured cells, following DNA damage treatment, are embedded in agarose and allowed to repair in-gel prior to lysis and electrophoresis. Whilst this method does have its limitations, it avoids the extensive cell culture-based processing associated with the traditional approach using attached cells and also allows for the examination of much more precise DNA repair kinetics. In this review we will describe, using this modified comet assay, our accumulating evidence that ubiquitylation-dependant regulation of BER proteins has important consequences for overall cellular DNA repair capacity.
    Frontiers in Genetics 07/2014; 5:232.
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    ABSTRACT: The ARF tumour suppressor protein, the gene of which is frequently mutated in many human cancers, plays an important role in the cellular stress response by orchestrating up-regulation of p53 protein and consequently promoting cell-cycle delay. Although p53 protein function has been clearly linked to the cellular DNA damage response, the role of ARF protein in this process is unclear. Here, we report that arf gene transcription is induced by DNA strand breaks (SBs) and that ARF protein accumulates in response to persistent DNA damage. We discovered that poly(ADP-ribose) synthesis catalysed by PARP1 at the sites of unrepaired SBs activates ARF transcription through a protein signalling cascade, including the NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase SIRT1 and the transcription factor E2F1. Our data suggest that poly(ADP-ribose) synthesis at the sites of SBs initiates DNA damage signal transduction by reducing the cellular concentration of NAD(+), thus down-regulating SIRT1 activity and consequently activating E2F1-dependent ARF transcription. Our findings suggest a vital role for ARF in DNA damage signalling, and furthermore explain the critical requirement for ARF inactivation in cancer cells, which are frequently deficient in DNA repair and accumulate DNA damage.
    Nucleic Acids Research 11/2013; · 8.81 Impact Factor
  • Jason L Parsons, Grigory L Dianov
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    ABSTRACT: Base excision repair (BER) is a major DNA repair pathway employed in mammalian cells that is required to maintain genome stability, thus preventing several human diseases, such as ageing, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. This is achieved through the repair of damaged DNA bases, sites of base loss and single strand breaks of varying complexity that are continuously induced endogenously or via exogenous mutagens. Whilst the enzymes involved in BER are now well known and characterised, the role of the co-ordination of BER enzymatic activities in the cellular response to DNA damage and the mechanisms regulating this process are only now being revealed. Post-translational modifications of BER proteins, including ubiquitylation and phosphorylation, are increasingly being identified as key processes that regulate BER. In this review we will summarise recent evidence discovering novel mechanisms that are involved in maintaining genome stability by regulation of the key BER proteins in response to DNA damage.
    DNA repair 03/2013; · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the mechanism regulating the cellular levels of PNKP, the major kinase/phosphatase involved in the repair of oxidative DNA damage, and find that it is controlled by ATM phosphorylation and ubiquitylation-dependent proteasomal degradation. We discovered that ATM-dependent phosphorylation of PNKP at serines 114 and 126 in response to oxidative DNA damage inhibits ubiquitylation-dependent proteasomal degradation of PNKP, and consequently increases PNKP stability that is required for DNA repair. We have also purified a novel Cul4A-DDB1 ubiquitin ligase complex responsible for PNKP ubiquitylation and identify serine-threonine kinase receptor associated protein (STRAP) as the adaptor protein that provides specificity of the complex to PNKP. Strap(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts subsequently contain elevated cellular levels of PNKP, and show elevated resistance to oxidative DNA damage. These data demonstrate an important role for ATM and the Cul4A-DDB1-STRAP ubiquitin ligase in the regulation of the cellular levels of PNKP, and consequently in the repair of oxidative DNA damage.
    Nucleic Acids Research 10/2012; · 8.81 Impact Factor
  • Jason L Parsons, Nils H Nicolay, Ricky A Sharma
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Apart from surgical approaches, the treatment of cancer remains largely underpinned by radiotherapy and pharmacological agents that cause damage to cellular DNA, which ultimately causes cancer cell death. DNA polymerases, which are involved in the repair of cellular DNA damage, are therefore potential targets for inhibitors for improving the efficacy of cancer therapy. They can be divided, according to their main function, into two groups, namely replicative and nonreplicative enzymes. At least 15 different DNA polymerases, including their homologs, have been discovered to date, which vary considerably in processivity and fidelity. Many of the nonreplicative (specialized) DNA polymerases replicate DNA in an error-prone fashion, and they have been shown to participate in multiple DNA damage repair and tolerance pathways, which are often aberrant in cancer cells. Alterations in DNA repair pathways involving DNA polymerases have been linked with cancer survival and with treatment response to radiotherapy or to classes of cytotoxic drugs routinely used for cancer treatment, particularly cisplatin, oxaliplatin, etoposide, and bleomycin. Indeed, there are extensive preclinical data to suggest that DNA polymerase inhibition may prove to be a useful approach for increasing the effectiveness of therapies in patients with cancer. Furthermore, specialized DNA polymerases warrant examination of their potential use as clinical biomarkers to select for particular cancer therapies, to individualize treatment for patients. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000-000.
    Antioxidants & Redox Signaling 07/2012; · 8.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The deubiquitylation enzyme USP7/HAUSP plays a major role in regulating genome stability and cancer prevention by controlling the key proteins involved in the DNA damage response. Despite this important role in controlling other proteins, USP7 itself has not been recognized as a target for regulation. Here, we report that USP7 regulation plays a central role in DNA damage signal transmission. We find that stabilization of Mdm2, and correspondingly p53 downregulation in unstressed cells, is accomplished by a specific isoform of USP7 (USP7S), which is phosphorylated at serine 18 by the protein kinase CK2. Phosphorylation stabilizes USP7S and thus contributes to Mdm2 stabilization and downregulation of p53. After ionizing radiation, dephosphorylation of USP7S by the ATM-dependent protein phosphatase PPM1G leads to USP7S downregulation, followed by Mdm2 downregulation and accumulation of p53. Our findings provide a quantitative transmission mechanism of the DNA damage signal to coordinate a p53-dependent DNA damage response.
    Molecular cell 02/2012; 45(6):801-13. · 14.46 Impact Factor
  • Jason L Parsons, Grigory L Dianov
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    ABSTRACT: Base excision repair (BER) is an essential cellular mechanism that maintains genome stability by repairing DNA damage, such as DNA base lesions, base loss (AP sites) and single strand breaks, generated through endogenous metabolism or via exogenous mutagens. Therefore, in vitro BER assays are important for our understanding of the mechanism of cellular response to mutagens and may also reveal important information about the development of several DNA repair-related human diseases, such as cancer, and aging. Here, we describe the preparation and use of mammalian cell extracts in in vitro BER assays using both oligonucleotide and closed circular DNA substrates containing site-specific DNA lesions, in combination with denaturing acrylamide gel electrophoresis and phosphor imaging analysis.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2012; 920:245-62. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    Grigory L Dianov, Giulia Orlando, Jason L Parsons
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    ABSTRACT: 3.3.1 Base Excision Repair Base excision repair (BER) is initiated by damage-specific DNA glycosylases that identify and release the corrupted base by hydrolysis of the N-glycosylic bond linking the DNA base to the sugar phosphate backbone. In mammalian cells, the arising abasic site (AP-site) is further processed by AP-endonuclease 1 (APE1) that cleaves the phosphodiester bond 5 0 to the AP-site, generating a DNA single-strand break (SSB) with a 5 0 -sugar phosphate. This SSB is then repaired by a DNA repair complex that includes DNA polymerase b (Pol b), XRCC1 and DNA ligase IIIa (Lig III). 1,2 Pol b possesses AP lyase activity that removes the 5 0 -sugar phosphate and also, functioning as a DNA 1 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Issues in Toxicology No. 13 The Cellular Response to the Genotoxic Insult: The Question of Threshold for Genotoxic Carcinogens Edited by Helmut Greim and Richard J. Albertini r The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012 Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, www.rsc.org 174 polymerase, adds one nucleotide to the 3 0 -end of the arising single-nucleotide gap. Finally, XRCC1-Lig III complex seals the DNA ends, therefore accomplishing DNA repair (reviewed in 3). This pathway is commonly refer-red to as the short patch BER pathway, through which cells are accomplishing the majority of repair (Figure 3.3.1, left branch). However, if the 5 0 -sugar phosphate is resistant to cleavage by Pol b, then a switch to Pol d/e occurs that adds 2–8 more nucleotides into the repair gap, therefore generating a flap structure that is removed by flap endonuclease-1 (FEN-1) in a PCNA-dependent manner. DNA ligase I then seals the remaining nick in the DNA backbone and this process is commonly referred to as long patch BER 4,5 (Figure 3.3.1 right branch).
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    ABSTRACT: It is of pivotal importance for genome stability that repair DNA polymerases (Pols), such as Pols λ and β, which all exhibit considerably reduced fidelity when replicating undamaged DNA, are tightly regulated, because their misregulation could lead to mutagenesis. Recently, we found that the correct repair of the abundant and highly miscoding oxidative DNA lesion 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanine (8-oxo-G) is performed by an accurate repair pathway that is coordinated by the MutY glycosylase homologue (MutYH) and Pol λ in vitro and in vivo. Pol λ is phosphorylated by Cdk2/cyclinA in late S and G2 phases of the cell cycle, promoting Pol λ stability by preventing it from being targeted for proteasomal degradation by ubiquitination. However, it has remained a mystery how the levels of Pol λ are controlled, how phosphorylation promotes its stability, and how the engagement of Pol λ in active repair complexes is coordinated. Here, we show that the E3 ligase Mule mediates the degradation of Pol λ and that the control of Pol λ levels by Mule has functional consequences for the ability of mammalian cells to deal with 8-oxo-G lesions. Furthermore, we demonstrate that phosphorylation of Pol λ by Cdk2/cyclinA counteracts its Mule-mediated degradation by promoting recruitment of Pol λ to chromatin into active 8-oxo-G repair complexes through an increase in Pol λ's affinity to chromatin-bound MutYH. Finally, MutYH appears to promote the stability of Pol λ by binding it to chromatin. In contrast, Pol λ not engaged in active repair on chromatin is subject for proteasomal degradation.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2011; 109(2):437-42. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Converting lead compounds into drug candidates is a crucial step in drug development, requiring early assessment of potency, selectivity, and off-target effects. We have utilized activity-based chemical proteomics to determine the potency and selectivity of deubiquitylating enzyme (DUB) inhibitors in cell culture models. Importantly, we characterized the small molecule PR-619 as a broad-range DUB inhibitor, and P22077 as a USP7 inhibitor with potential for further development as a chemotherapeutic agent in cancer therapy. A striking accumulation of polyubiquitylated proteins was observed after both selective and general inhibition of cellular DUB activity without direct impairment of proteasomal proteolysis. The repertoire of ubiquitylated substrates was analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry, identifying distinct subsets for general or specific inhibition of DUBs. This enabled identification of previously unknown functional links between USP7 and enzymes involved in DNA repair.
    Chemistry & biology 11/2011; 18(11):1401-12. · 6.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: APE1 (Ref-1) is an essential human protein involved in DNA damage repair and regulation of transcription. Although the cellular functions and biochemical properties of APE1 are well characterized, the mechanism involved in regulation of the cellular levels of this important DNA repair/transcriptional regulation enzyme, remains poorly understood. Using an in vitro ubiquitylation assay, we have now purified the human E3 ubiquitin ligase UBR3 as a major activity that polyubiquitylates APE1 at multiple lysine residues clustered on the N-terminal tail. We further show that a knockout of the Ubr3 gene in mouse embryonic fibroblasts leads to an up-regulation of the cellular levels of APE1 protein and subsequent genomic instability. These data propose an important role for UBR3 in the control of the steady state levels of APE1 and consequently error free DNA repair.
    Nucleic Acids Research 09/2011; 40(2):701-11. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: CK2 phosphorylates the scaffold protein XRCC1, which is required for efficient DNA single-strand break (SSB) repair. Here, we express an XRCC1 protein (XRCC1(ckm)) that cannot be phosphorylated by CK2 in XRCC1 mutated EM9 cells and show that the role of this post-translational modification gives distinct phenotypes in SSB repair and base excision repair (BER). Interestingly, we find that fewer SSBs are formed during BER after treatment with the alkylating agent dimethyl sulfate (DMS) in EM9 cells expressing XRCC1(ckm) (CKM cells) or following inhibition with the CK2 inhibitor 2-dimethylamino-4,5,6,7-tetrabromo-1H-benzimidazole (DMAT). We also show that XRCC1(ckm) protein has a higher affinity for DNA than wild type XRCC1 protein and resides in an immobile fraction on DNA, in particular after damage. We propose a model whereby the increased affinity for DNA sequesters XRCC1(ckm) and the repair enzymes associated with it, at the repair site, which retards kinetics of BER. In conclusion, our results indicate that phosphorylation of XRCC1 by CK2 facilitates the BER incision step, likely by promoting dissociation from DNA.
    DNA repair 09/2011; 10(9):961-9. · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DNA base excision repair (BER) is an essential cellular process required for genome stability, and misregulation of BER is linked to premature aging, increased rate of mutagenesis, and cancer. We have now identified the cytoplasmic ubiquitin-specific protease USP47 as the major enzyme involved in deubiquitylation of the key BER DNA polymerase (Pol β) and demonstrate that USP47 is required for stability of newly synthesized cytoplasmic Pol β that is used as a source for nuclear Pol β involved in DNA repair. We further show that knockdown of USP47 causes an increased level of ubiquitylated Pol β, decreased levels of Pol β, and a subsequent deficiency in BER, leading to accumulation of DNA strand breaks and decreased cell viability in response to DNA damage. Taken together, these data demonstrate an important role for USP47 in regulating DNA repair and maintaining genome integrity.
    Molecular cell 03/2011; 41(5):609-15. · 14.46 Impact Factor
  • G L Dianov, C Meisenberg, J L Parsons
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    ABSTRACT: Cellular DNA repair is a frontline system that is responsible for maintaining genome integrity and thus preventing premature aging and cancer by repairing DNA lesions and strand breaks caused by endogenous and exogenous mutagens. However, it is also the principal cellular system in cancer cells that counteracts the killing effect of the major cancer treatments, e.g. chemotherapy and ionizing radiation. Although it is clear that an individual's DNA repair capacity varies, the mechanisms involved in the regulation of repair systems that are responsible for such variations are only just emerging. This knowledge gap is impeding the finding of new cancer therapy targets and the development of novel treatment strategies. In recent years the vital role of post-translational modifications of DNA repair proteins, including ubiquitylation and phosphorylation, has been uncovered. This review will cover recent progress in our understanding of the role of ubiquitylation in the regulation of DNA repair.
    Biochemistry (Moscow) 01/2011; 76(1):69-79. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: USP7 is involved in the cellular stress response by regulating Mdm2 and p53 protein levels following severe DNA damage. In addition to this, USP7 may also play a role in chromatin remodelling by direct deubiquitylation of histones, as well as indirectly by regulating the cellular levels of E3 ubiquitin ligases involved in histone ubiquitylation. Here, we provide new evidence that USP7 modulated chromatin remodelling is important for base excision repair of oxidative lesions. We show that transient USP7 siRNA knockdown did not change the levels or activity of base excision repair enzymes, but significantly reduced chromatin DNA accessibility and consequently the rate of repair of oxidative lesions.
    Nucleic Acids Research 12/2010; 39(7):2604-9. · 8.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: XRCC1 is a scaffold protein that interacts with several DNA repair proteins and plays a critical role in DNA base excision repair (BER). XRCC1 protein is in a tight complex with DNA ligase IIIalpha (Lig III) and this complex is involved in the ligation step of both BER and repair of DNA single strand breaks. The majority of XRCC1 has previously been demonstrated to exist in a phosphorylated form and cells containing mutant XRCC1, that is unable to be phosphorylated, display a reduced rate of single strand break repair. Here, in an unbiased assay, we demonstrate that the cytoplasmic form of the casein kinase 2 (CK2) protein is the major protein kinase activity involved in phosphorylation of XRCC1 in human cell extracts and that XRCC1 phosphorylation is required for XRCC1-Lig III complex stability. We demonstrate that XRCC1-Lig III complex containing mutant XRCC1, in which CK2 phosphorylation sites have been mutated, is unstable. We also find that a knockdown of CK2 by siRNA results in both reduced XRCC1 phosphorylation and stability, which also leads to a reduced amount of Lig III and accumulation of DNA strand breaks. We therefore propose that CK2 plays an important role in DNA repair by contributing to the stability of XRCC1-Lig III complex.
    DNA repair 07/2010; 9(7):835-41. · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A significant proportion of human cancers overexpress DNA polymerase beta (Pol beta), the major DNA polymerase involved in base excision repair. The underlying mechanism and biological consequences of overexpression of this protein are unknown. We examined whether Pol beta, expressed at levels found in tumor cells, is involved in the repair of DNA damage induced by oxaliplatin treatment and whether the expression status of this protein alters the sensitivity of cells to oxaliplatin. DNA damage induced by oxaliplatin treatment of HCT116 and HT29 colon cancer cells was observed to be associated with the stabilization of Pol beta protein on chromatin. In comparison with HCT116 colon cancer cells, isogenic oxaliplatin-resistant (HCT-OR) cells were found to have higher constitutive levels of Pol beta protein, faster in vitro repair of a DNA substrate containing a single nucleotide gap and faster repair of 1,2-GG oxaliplatin adduct levels in cells. In HCT-OR cells, small interfering RNA knockdown of Pol beta delayed the repair of oxaliplatin-induced DNA damage. In a different model system, Pol beta-deficient fibroblasts were less able to repair 1,2-GG oxaliplatin adducts and were hypersensitive to oxaliplatin treatment compared with isogenic Pol beta-expressing cells. Consistent with previous studies, Pol beta-deficient mouse fibroblasts were not hypersensitive to cisplatin treatment. These data provide the first link between oxaliplatin sensitivity and DNA repair involving Pol beta. They demonstrate that Pol beta modulates the sensitivity of cells to oxaliplatin treatment.
    Oncogene 10/2009; 29(3):463-8. · 8.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Base excision repair (BER) is the major cellular pathway involved in removal of endogenous/spontaneous DNA lesions. Here, we study the mechanism that controls the steady-state levels of BER enzymes in human cells. By fractionating human cell extract, we purified the E3 ubiquitin ligase Mule (ARF-BP1/HectH9) as an enzyme that can ubiquitylate DNA polymerase beta (Pol beta), the major BER DNA polymerase. We identified lysines 41, 61 and 81 as the major sites of modification and show that replacement of these lysines to arginines leads to increased protein stability. We further show that the cellular levels of Pol beta and its ubiquitylated derivative are modulated by Mule and ARF and siRNA knockdown of Mule leads to accumulation of Pol beta and increased DNA repair. Our findings provide a novel mechanism regulating steady-state levels of BER proteins.
    The EMBO Journal 09/2009; 28(20):3207-15. · 10.75 Impact Factor
  • Jason L. Parsons, Emma Boswell, Grigory L. Dianov
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    ABSTRACT: In living cells, the DNA molecule is subject to attack from reactive oxygen species generated as the result of endogenous oxidative metabolism and exogenous factors, such as ionising radiation. Reactive oxygen species can produce a variety of DNA lesions, including DNA single strand breaks containing modified 3′-ends that are a threat to cellular genomic integrity. However, the cell is equipped with multiple repair mechanisms that are able to efficiently remove the lesion followed by subsequent repair of the DNA strand break. The majority of small base damages in DNA are repaired by proteins of the base excision repair pathway that involves removal of the damaged base by a DNA glycosylase, incision of the AP site produced by AP endonuclease and gap filling and ligation by DNA polymerase β and DNA ligase IIIα-XRCC1 complex, respectively. However, the repair of DNA single strand breaks containing 3′-end modifications may require a different subset of enzymes due to the different complexity of the damage. In this review, we summarise the proteins currently identified as playing a major role in the repair of DNA single strand breaks containing 3′-end lesions.
    06/2009: pages 81-90;

Publication Stats

1k Citations
223.80 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013–2014
    • University of Liverpool
      • Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine
      Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008–2013
    • University of Oxford
      • Gray Institute for Radiation Oncology and Biology
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 2012
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      Birmingham, Alabama, United States
  • 2007
    • Mrc Harwell
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 2004–2007
    • Medical Research Council (UK)
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom