The excision repair of nondimer DNA damages induced in normal human skin fibroblasts exposed to the Mylar-filtered UV produced by a fluorescent sunlamp was investigated. This work was accomplished through the development of a modification of the bromodeoxyuridine photolysis assay that greatly increases the sensitivity of this assay. This enhancement in sensitivity was achieved through use of alkaline elution to measure the DNA strand breakage produced by the photolysis of bromodeoxyuridine incorporated into the DNA through excision repair. Using this modified bromodeoxyuridine photolysis assay, it was found that the solar UV-induced nondimer DNA damages appear to have been repaired by a short patch repair mechanism in which a small number of nucleotides (two to four) were inserted into the repaired site. This is in contrast to the long patch repair process involved in the excision of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers in which approximately 40 nucleotides were inserted into each repaired region.

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This research was supported by Grant CA33920 from the National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services.

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