AIMS Genetics, 2017, 4(1): 47-68. doi: 10.3934/genet.2017.1.47

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Systematic analysis of DNA damage induction and DNA repair pathway activation by continuous wave visible light laser micro-irradiation

Cell Biology and Epigenetics, Department of Biology, Technische Universität Darmstadt, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany

Laser micro-irradiation can be used to induce DNA damage with high spatial and temporal resolution, representing a powerful tool to analyze DNA repair in vivo in the context of chromatin. However, most lasers induce a mixture of DNA damage leading to the activation of multiple DNA repair pathways and making it impossible to study individual repair processes. Hence, we aimed to establish and validate micro-irradiation conditions together with inhibition of several key proteins to discriminate different types of DNA damage and repair pathways using lasers commonly available in confocal microscopes. Using time-lapse analysis of cells expressing fluorescently tagged repair proteins and also validation of the DNA damage generated by micro-irradiation using several key damage markers, we show that irradiation with a 405 nm continuous wave laser lead to the activation of all repair pathways even in the absence of exogenous sensitization. In contrast, we found that irradiation with 488 nm laser lead to the selective activation of non-processive short-patch base excision and single strand break repair, which were further validated by PARP inhibition and metoxyamine treatment. We conclude that these low energy conditions discriminated against processive long-patch base excision repair, nucleotide excision repair as well as double strand break repair pathways.
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