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During the process of E. coli nucleotide excision repair, DNA damage recognition and processing are achieved by the action of the uvrA, uvrB, and uvrC gene products. The availability of highly purified proteins has lead to a detailed molecular description of E. coli nucleotide excision repair that serves as a model for similar processes in eukaryotes. An interesting aspect of this repair system is the protein complex's ability to work on a vast array of DNA lesions that differ widely in their chemical composition and molecular architecture. Here we propose a model for damage recognition in which the UvrB protein serves as the component that confers enhanced specificity to a preincision complex. We hypothesize that one major determinant for the formation of a stable preincision complex appears to be the disruption of base stacking interactions by DNA lesions.


B Van Houten, A Snowden. Mechanism of action of the Escherichia coli UvrABC nuclease: clues to the damage recognition problem. BioEssays : news and reviews in molecular, cellular and developmental biology. 1993 Jan;15(1):51-9

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PMID: 8466476

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