To assess the contribution to mutagenesis of human DNA repair defects, the UV-irradiated shuttle vector plasmid pZ189 was propagated in fibroblasts derived from a xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) patient in DNA repair complementation group C. In comparison to results with DNA repair-proficient human cells (WI-38 VA13), UV-irradiated pZ189 propagated in the XP-C (XP4PA(SV)) cells showed fewer surviving plasmids and a higher frequency of mutated plasmids. Base sequence analysis of 67 mutated plasmids recovered from the XP-C cells revealed similar classes of point mutations and mutation spectrum, and a higher frequency of G:C to A:T transitions along with a lower frequency of transversions among plasmids with single or tandem mutations compared to plasmids recovered from the normal line. Most single-base substitution mutations (83%) occurred at G:C base pairs in which the 5'-adjacent base of the cytosine was thymine or cytosine. These results indicate that the DNA repair defects in XP-C, in comparison to data previously reported for XP-A, XP-D and XP-F, result in different UV survival and mutation frequency but in similar types of base substitution mutations.
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