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UvrD helicase: An old dog with a new trick: How one step backward leads to many steps forward

Epshtein, Vitaliy
BioEssays 2015 v.37 no.1 pp. 12-19
DNA, DNA damage, DNA-directed RNA polymerase, bacteria, models
Transcription‐coupled repair (TCR) is a phenomenon that exists in a wide variety of organisms from bacteria to humans. This mechanism allows cells to repair the actively transcribed DNA strand much faster than the non‐transcribed one. At the sites of bulky DNA damage RNA polymerase stalls, initiating recruitment of the repair machinery. It is a commonly accepted paradigm that bacterial cells utilize a sole coupling factor, called Mfd to initiate TCR. According to that model, Mfd removes transcription complexes stalled at the lesion site and simultaneously recruits repair machinery. However, this model was recently put in doubt by various discrepancies between the proposed universal role of Mfd in the TCR and its biochemical and phenotypical properties. Here, I present a second pathway of bacterial TCR recently discovered in my laboratory, which does not involve Mfd but implicates a common repair factor, UvrD, in a central position in the process.