Crystal structure of the nucleosome containing ultraviolet light-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer

Naoki Horikoshi, Hiroaki Tachiwana, Wataru Kagawa, Akihisa Osakabe, Syota Matsumoto, Shigenori Iwai, Kaoru Sugasawa, Hitoshi Kurumizaka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) is induced in genomic DNA by ultraviolet (UV) light. In mammals, this photolesion is primarily induced within nucleosomal DNA, and repaired exclusively by the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway. However, the mechanism by which the CPD is accommodated within the nucleosome has remained unknown. We now report the crystal structure of a nucleosome containing CPDs. In the nucleosome, the CPD induces only limited local backbone distortion, and the affected bases are accommodated within the duplex. Interestingly, one of the affected thymine bases is located within 3.0 Å from the undamaged complementary adenine base, suggesting the formation of complementary hydrogen bonds in the nucleosome. We also found that UV-DDB, which binds the CPD at the initial stage of the NER pathway, also efficiently binds to the nucleosomal CPD. These results provide important structural and biochemical information for understanding how the CPD is accommodated and recognized in chromatin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 26


  • Chromatin
  • Cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer
  • Nucleosome
  • Nucleotide excision repair
  • UV-DDB

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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