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  1. DNA base damage arises frequently in living cells and needs to be removed by base excision repair (BER) to prevent mutagenesis and genome instability. Both the formation and repair of base damage occur in chromatin and are conceivably affected by DNA-binding proteins such as transcription factors (TFs). However, to what extent TF binding affects base damage distribution and BER in cells is unclear. Here, we used a genome-wide damage mapping method, N -methylpurine-sequencing (NMP-seq), and characterized alkylation damage distribution and BER at TF binding sites in yeast cells treated with the alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). Our data show that alkylation damage formation was mainly suppressed at the binding sites of yeast TFs ARS binding factor 1 (Abf1) and rDNA enhancer binding protein 1 (Reb1), but individual hotspots with elevated damage levels were also found. Additionally, Abf1 and Reb1 binding strongly inhibits BER in vivo and in vitro, causing slow repair both within the core motif and its adjacent DNA. Repair of ultraviolet (UV) damage by nucleotide excision repair (NER) was also inhibited by TF binding. Interestingly, TF binding inhibits a larger DNA region for NER relative to BER. The observed effects are caused by the TF–DNA interaction, because damagemore »formation and BER can be restored by depletion of Abf1 or Reb1 protein from the nucleus. Thus, our data reveal that TF binding significantly modulates alkylation base damage formation and inhibits repair by the BER pathway. The interplay between base damage formation and BER may play an important role in affecting mutation frequency in gene regulatory regions.« less
  2. Abstract

    Recurrent mutations are frequently associated with transcription factor (TF) binding sites (TFBS) in melanoma, but the mechanism driving mutagenesis at TFBS is unclear. Here, we use a method called CPD-seq to map the distribution of UV-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) across the human genome at single nucleotide resolution. Our results indicate that CPD lesions are elevated at active TFBS, an effect that is primarily due to E26 transformation-specific (ETS) TFs. We show that ETS TFs induce a unique signature of CPD hotspots that are highly correlated with recurrent mutations in melanomas, despite high repair activity at these sites. ETS1 protein renders its DNA binding targets extremely susceptible to UV damage in vitro, due to binding-induced perturbations in the DNA structure that favor CPD formation. These findings define a mechanism responsible for recurrent mutations in melanoma and reveal that DNA binding by ETS TFs is inherently mutagenic in UV-exposed cells.