Endonuclease V (denV) from bacteriophage T4 was examined for its ability to complement the DNA repair defect in xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) cells from complementation groups A, C, D, F and G. The denV gene was introduced into SV40-transformed normal and XP cells using a retroviral vector. Expression of denV resulted in partial correction of UV sensitivity and increased host cell reactivation (HCR) of a UV-damaged reporter gene for XP cells from groups A, C and D, but not those from group G. Expression of denV in XP-F cells resulted in enhanced HCR of a UV-damaged reporter but did not affect UV sensitivity. The observed partial complementation is thought to reflect denV-mediated repair of cyclobutane-pyrimidine dimers (CPD), and is incomplete as denV does not recognize other UV-induced lesions, and may not even efficiently remove all CPD. As XP-F cells are believed to retain near-normal levels of CPD repair in the bulk of the genome, we believe that the disparity in the ability of denV to complement the repair deficiency in these cells results from an increased rate, but not level, of CPD repair. Furthermore, we suggest that the lack of correction in the XP-G cells examined results from an inability to process denV-incised CPD by the base excision repair pathway, as has been suggested for cells from the related genetic disorder, Cockayne syndrome. Expression of denV in repair proficient normal cells also resulted in increased HCR of the UV-damaged reporter construct, possibly arising from an increased rate of CPD repair in these cells.
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Vol. 72 • No. 3