The distribution of ultraviolet radiation (UV) induced DNA repair synthesis within chromatin was examined in cultured human diploid fibroblasts (IMR-90). Measurement of the time course of repair synthesis yielded two distinct phases: An initial rapid phase (fast repair) which occurs during the first 2-3 h after damage and a slower phase (slow repair) associated with a tenfold decrease in the rate of nucleotide incorporation, which persists for at least 35 h after damage. Staphylococcal nuclease digests of nuclei from cells damaged with UV and labeled during the fast-repair phase revealed a marked preference of fast-repair synthesis for the nuclease-sensitive regions. A new method was developed to analyze the digestion data and showed that approximately 50% of the nucleotides incorporated during the fast-repair phase are located in staphylococcal nuclease-sensitive regions, which comprise about 30% of the genome. Calculations from these data indicate that in the staphylococcal nuclease-sensitive regions the number of newly inserted nucleotides per unit DNA is about twice that of resistant regions. These results were supported by electrophoresis studies which demonstrated a decreased representation of fast-repair synthesis in core particle DNA. In contrast, the distribution within chromatin of nucleotides incorporated during the slow-repair phase was found to be much more homogeneous with about 30% of the repair sites located in 25% of the genome. Digestion studies with DNase I indicated a slight preference of repair synthesis for regions sensitive to this enzyme; however, no marked difference between the distributions of fast- and slow-repair synthesis was observed. This study provides evidence that the structural constraints placed upon DNA in chromatin also place constraints upon UV-induced DNA repair synthesis in human cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas