Host Cell Reactivation: Assay for Actively Transcribed DNA (Nucleotide Excision) Repair Using Luciferase Family Expression Vectors

  • Jowaher S. Alanazi
  • Jean J. LatimerEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2102)


Host cell reactivation (HCR) is a transfection-based assay in which intact cells repair damage localized to exogenous DNA. This chapter provides instructions for the application of this technique, using as an exemplar UV irradiation as a source of damage to a luciferase reporter plasmid. Through measurement of the activity of a successfully transcribed and translated reporter enzyme, the amount of damaged plasmid that a cell can “reactivate” or repair and express can be quantitated. Different DNA repair pathways can be analyzed by this technique by damaging the reporter plasmid in different ways. Since it involves repair of a transcriptionally active gene, when applied to UV damage the HCR assay measures the capacity of the host cells to perform transcription-coupled repair (TCR), a subset of the overall nucleotide excision repair pathway that specifically targets transcribed gene sequences. This method features two ways to perform the assay using expression vectors with luciferase and beta galactosidase, as well as with firefly luciferase and Renilla luciferase using the same luminometer.

Key words

DNA damage Host cell reactivation (HCR) Transcription-coupled repair (TCR) Global genomic repair (GGR) Nucleotide excision repair (NER) Transfection Luciferase Firefly Renilla UV irradiation Thymine dimmers 6-4 photoproducts 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesNova Southeastern University and AutoNation Breast Cancer InstituteFort LauderdaleUSA

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