The induction and resealing of DNA strand breaks in a cell line with a proven defect in DNA ligase I, 46BR, and in two Bloom's syndrome cell lines, YBL6 and GM 1492, were compared to those observed in normal human 1BR/3 fibroblasts after treatment with a variety of genotoxic agents whose lesions are processed by different repair pathways. This analysis was performed using the single-cell gel electrophoresis assay. The three types of cells were found to have similar capabilities to recognize and incise ultraviolet photoproducts and also demonstrated similar amounts of DNA breaks immediately after γ irradiation. During post-treatment incubation, 46BR cells showed a marked DNA re-ligation defect after ultraviolet radiation damage, GM 1492 cells demonstrated a highly reduced DNA joining ability after relatively high doses of ultraviolet radiation, and YBL6 cells were particularly affected in DNA re-ligation after damage by 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide. The two Bloom's syndrome cell lines and 46BR cells had a nearly normal ability to reseal breaks resulting from γ irradiation or treatment with xanthine plus xanthine oxidase. These findings suggest that different DNA ligases may be involved in different DNA repair pathways in human cells.

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