Human PC4 Prevents Mutagenesis and Killing by Oxidative DNA Damage: a Dissertation

Publication Date

December 2004

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology


Repressor Proteins; Trans-Activators; DNA Damage; Mutagenesis; Academic Dissertations


Chapter II Abstract

Human positive cofactor 4 (PC4) is a transcriptional coactivator with a highly conserved single-strand DNA (ssDNA) binding domain of unknown function. We identified PC4 as a suppressor of the oxidative mutator phenotype of the Escherichia coli fpg mutY mutant and demonstrate that this suppression requires its ssDNA binding activity. Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants lacking their PC4 ortholog Sub1 are sensitive to hydrogen peroxide and exhibit spontaneous and peroxide-induced hypermutability. PC4 expression suppresses the peroxide sensitivity of the yeast sub1Δ mutant, suggesting that the human protein has a similar function. A role for yeast and human proteins in DNA repair is suggested by the demonstration that Sub1 acts in a peroxide resistance pathway involving Rad2 and by the physical interaction of PC4 with the human Rad2 homolog XPG. We show that XPG recruits PC4 to a bubble-containing DNA substrate with a resulting displacement of XPG and formation of a PC4-DNA complex. We discuss the possible requirement for PC4 in either global or transcription-coupled repair of oxidative DNA damage to mediate the release of XPG bound to its substrate.

Chapter III Abstract

Previously I established that (1) PC4 significantly suppresses oxidative mutagenesis via its single-strand DNA binding activity, (2) a partial suppression of H2O2-induced lethality was observed in a sub1Δ rad2Δ yeast double mutant compared to the sub1Δ mutant, and (3) PC4 interacts with XPG physically and functionally. These results led me to believe that suppression of oxidative mutagenesis and lethality by PC4 is partially due to its function in an XPG/Rad2-dependent pathway and through additional unidentified mechanism(s). In this chapter, I present studies aimed at investigating different DNA repair pathways in which PC4/Sub1 might participate. I address the possible roles of PC4/Sub1 in transcription-coupled repair (TCR) in terms of its binding specificity to oxidative DNA lesions and its ability to allow efficient resumption of transcription after oxidative DNA damaging treatment. To ask if PC4/Sub1 interacts with other DNA repair proteins to protect cells from oxidative DNA damage, I analyzed spontaneous mutation rates among a series of isogenic, haploid yeast mutant strains deficient of SUB1, base excision repair (BER) and/or nucleotide excision repair (NER) functions. I further analyzed genetic interactions between SUB1 and genes critical to various DNA damage avoidance/tolerance mechanisms, such as mismatch repair (MMR), homologous recombination (HR) and translesion synthesis (TLS).


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