Human fibroblasts and HeLa cells contain two major DNA-binding activities for superhelical DNA, which can be separated by phosphocellulose chromatography. The DNA-binding activity which elutes first from the column coelutes with and is probably identical to a single-stranded-DNA-binding activity. The second activity has been characterized previously. It binds preferentially to super-helical DNA containing DNA damage, but does not bind to single-stranded DNA. Five cell lines derived from patients with the repairdeficiency syndrome xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) were analyzed for the presence of these binding activities. Four of the cell lines were from the A-complementation group and one was from the D-complementation group of XP. The binding activity with preference for damaged DNA was present in all cell lines. The single-stranded-DNA-binding activity was present in the XP-D cell line but was absent or reduced in all of the four XP-A cell lines tested.

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