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Although solar light is indispensable for the functioning of plants, this environmental factor may also cause damage to living cells. Apart from the visible range, including wavelengths used in photosynthesis, the ultraviolet (UV) light present in solar irradiation reaches the Earth's surface. The high energy of UV causes damage to many cellular components, with DNA as one of the targets. Putting together the puzzle-like elements responsible for the repair of UV-induced DNA damage is of special importance in understanding how plants ensure the stability of their genomes between generations. In this review, we have presented the information on DNA damage produced under UV with a special focus on the pyrimidine dimers formed between the neighboring pyrimidines in a DNA strand. These dimers are highly mutagenic and cytotoxic, thus their repair is essential for the maintenance of suitable genetic information. In prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, with the exception of placental mammals, this is achieved by means of highly efficient photorepair, dependent on blue/UVA light, which is performed by specialized enzymes known as photolyases. Photolyase properties, as well as their structure, specificity and action mechanism, have been briefly discussed in this paper. Additionally, the main gaps in our knowledge on the functioning of light repair in plant organelles, its regulation and its interaction between different DNA repair systems in plants have been highlighted.


Agnieszka Katarzyna Banaś, Piotr Zgłobicki, Ewa Kowalska, Aneta Bażant, Dariusz Dziga, Wojciech Strzałka. All You Need Is Light. Photorepair of UV-Induced Pyrimidine Dimers. Genes. 2020 Nov 04;11(11)

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PMID: 33158066

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