Analysis of DNA Repair Using Transfection-Based Host Cell Reactivation

  • Jennifer M. Johnson
  • Jean J. Latimer
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 291)


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 UV irradiation as a source of damage to a luciferase reporter plasmid. Through measurement of the activity of a 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. Because 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.

Key Words

DNA damage host cell reactivation (HCR) transcription-coupled repair (TCR) global genomic repair (GGR) nucleotide excision repair (NER) transfection luciferase UV irradiation thymine dimers 6-4 photoproducts 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer M. Johnson
    • 1
  • Jean J. Latimer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Genetics and BiochemistryUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburgh
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive SciencesUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburgh

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