JULIE HARLESS, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


The nucleus of a eukaryotic cell contains both structural and functional elements that contribute to the controlled operation of the cell. In this context, functional components refers to those nuclear constituents that perform metabolic activities such as DNA replication and RNA transcription. Structural nuclear components, designated nuclear matrix, organize the DNA into loops or domains and appear to provide a framework for nuclear DNA organization. However, the boundary between structural and functional components is not clear cut as evinced by reports of associations between metabolic functions and the nuclear matrix. The studies reported here attempt to determine the relationship of another nuclear function, DNA repair, to the nuclear matrix. One objective of these studies was to study the initiation of DNA repair by directly measuring the UV-incision activities in human cells and determine the influence of various extractable nuclear components on these activities. The assay for incision activities required the development of a nuclear isolation protocol that produced nuclei with intact DNA; the conformation of the nuclear DNA and its physical characteristics in response to denaturing conditions were determined. The nuclei produced with this protocol were then used as substrates for endogenous UV-specific nuclease activities. The isolated nuclei were shown to contain activities that cause breaks in nuclear DNA in response to UV-irradiation. These UV-responsive activities were tightly associated with nuclear components, being unextractable with salt concentration of up to 0.6 M. The tight association of the incision activities with salt-extracted nuclei suggested that other repair function might also be associated with salt-stable components of the nucleus. The site of unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) was determined in salt-extracted nuclei (nucleoids) using autoradiography and fluorescent microscopy. UDS was found to occur in association with the nuclear matrix following low-doses (2.55 J/M('2)) of ultraviolet light, but the association became looser after higher doses of ultraviolet light (10-30 J/m('2)).

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

HARLESS, JULIE, "LOCALIZATION OF DNA REPAIR FUNCTIONS TO THE NUCLEAR MATRIX" (1985). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8506407.