Inhibition of DNA Ligase Activity by Histones and Its Reversal by Poly(ADP-ribose)
The molecular mechanism by which poly(ADP-ribose) participates in DNA repair was investigated using purified DNA ligase in DNA-histone systems. The ligase activity was markedly inhibited by histones; the inhibition was >80% with histone H1 at concentrations equal to DNA. This inhibition was reversed efficiently by poly(ADP-ribose), either added exogenously or synthesized in situ with poly(ADP-ribose) synthetase. The reversal effect was specific for poly(ADP-ribose); other polyanions such as mRNA, rRNA’s, tRNA, and synthetic poly(A) were less effective or totally ineffective. The poly(ADP-ribose) effect appeared to be caused by binding to histones and decreasing DNA-histone interactions. Poly(ADP-ribose) also had high affinity for DNA ligase. These observations, together with the findings of absolute dependence of poly(ADP-ribose) synthetase activity on DNA strand ends and extensive automodification of the synthetase in DNA-damaged cells, suggested a possible mechanism of poly(ADP-ribose) action in DNA repair, in which auto-modified poly(ADP-ribose) synthetase serves as a link between DNA damage and activation of DNA ligase.