REPLICATIONand repair are essential processes that maintain the continuity of the genetic material. Dissection of simian virus 40 (SV40) DNA replication has resulted in the identification of many eukaryotic replication proteins, but the biochemistry of the multienzyme process of DNA excision repair is less well defined. One protein that is absolutely required for semiconservative replication of SV40 DNA in vitro is human single-stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB, also called RF-A and RP-A)1–3. SSB consists of three polypeptides of relative molecular mass 70,000, 34,000 and 13,000, and acts with T antigen and topoisomerases to unwind DNA, allowing the access of other replication proteins. Human SSB can also stimulate the activity of polymerases α and δ, suggesting a further role in elongation during DNA replication4–6. We have now found a role for human SSB in DNA excision repair using a cell-free system that can carry out nucleotide excision repair in vitro7. Monoclonal antibodies against human SSB caused extensive inhibition of DNA repair in plasmid molecules damaged by ultraviolet light or acetylaminofluorene. Addition of purified SSB reversed this inhibition and further stimulated repair synthesis by increasing the number of repair events. These results show that a mammalian DNA replication protein is also essential for repair.
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