Nucleotide excision repair (NER) and transcription are intimately related. First, TFIIH has a dual role in transcription initiation and NER and, secondly, transcription leads to more efficient repair of damage present in transcribed sequences. It is thought that elongating RNAPII, stalled at a DNA lesion, is used for the loading of the NER machinery in a process termed transcription-coupled repair (TCR). Non-transcribed regions are repaired by the so-called global genome repair (GGR). We have previously defined a number of yeast genes, whose deletions confer transcription-dependent hyper-recombination phenotypes. As these mutations cause impairment of transcription elongation we have assayed whether they also affect DNA repair. We show that null mutations of the HPR1 and THO2 genes, encoding two prominent proteins of the THO complex, increase UV sensitivity of yeast cells lacking GGR. Consistent with this result, molecular analyses of DNA repair of the RPB2 transcribed strand using T4 endo V show that hpr1 and tho2 do indeed impair TCR. However, this effect is not confined to TCR alone because the mutants are slightly affected in GGR. These results indicate that THO affects both transcription and NER. We discuss different alternatives to explain the effect of the THO complex on DNA repair
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