Multiple Roles of ERCC1-XPF in Mammalian Interstrand Crosslink Repair

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DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs) are among the most deleterious cytotoxic lesions encountered by cells, mainly due to the covalent linkage these lesions create between the two strands of DNA which effectively blocks replication and transcription. Although ICL repair in mammalian cells is not fully understood, processing of these lesions is thought to begin by “unhooking” at the site of the damaged base accompanied by the generation of a double strand break and ultimately repair through translesion synthesis and homologous recombination. A key player in this repair process is the heterodimeric protein complex ERCC1-XPF. Although some models of ICL repair restrict ERCC1-XPF activity to the unhooking step, recent data suggest that this protein complex acts in additional downstream steps. Here, we review the evidence implicating ERCC1-XPF in multiple steps of ICL repair. Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 51:567-581, 2010.

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