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Cancer Res. 2006 Mar 15;66(6):2997-3005.

Phosphorylation of nucleotide excision repair factor xeroderma pigmentosum group A by ataxia telangiectasia mutated and Rad3-related-dependent checkpoint pathway promotes cell survival in response to UV irradiation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, James H. Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee 37614, USA.


DNA damage triggers complex cellular responses in eukaryotic cells, including initiation of DNA repair and activation of cell cycle checkpoints. In addition to inducing cell cycle arrest, checkpoint also has been suggested to modulate a variety of other cellular processes in response to DNA damage. In this study, we present evidence showing that the cellular function of xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XPA), a major nucleotide excision repair (NER) factor, could be modulated by checkpoint kinase ataxia-telangiectasia mutated and Rad3-related (ATR) in response to UV irradiation. We observed the apparent interaction and colocalization of XPA with ATR in response to UV irradiation. We showed that XPA was a substrate for in vitro phosphorylation by phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase-related kinase family kinases whereas in cells XPA was phosphorylated in an ATR-dependent manner and stimulated by UV irradiation. The Ser196 of XPA was identified as a biologically significant residue to be phosphorylated in vivo. The XPA-deficient cells complemented with XPA-S196A mutant, in which Ser196 was substituted with an alanine, displayed significantly higher UV sensitivity compared with the XPA cells complemented with wild-type XPA. Moreover, substitution of Ser196 with aspartic acid for mimicking the phosphorylation of XPA increased the cell survival to UV irradiation. Taken together, our results revealed a potential physical and functional link between NER and the ATR-dependent checkpoint pathway in human cells and suggested that the ATR checkpoint pathway could modulate the cellular activity of NER through phosphorylation of XPA at Ser196 on UV irradiation.

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