Ribosomal protein S3 associates with the TFIIH complex and positively regulates nucleotide excision repair


In mammalian cells, the bulky DNA adducts caused by ultraviolet radiation are mainly repaired via the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathway; some defects in this pathway lead to a genetic disorder known as xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). Ribosomal protein S3 (rpS3), a constituent of the 40S ribosomal subunit, is a multi-functional protein with various extra-ribosomal functions, including a role in the cellular stress response and DNA repair-related activities. We report that rpS3 associates with transcription factor IIH (TFIIH) via an interaction with the xeroderma pigmentosum complementation group D (XPD) protein and complements its function in the NER pathway. For optimal repair of UV-induced duplex DNA lesions, the strong helicase activity of the TFIIH complex is required for unwinding damaged DNA around the lesion. Here, we show that XP-D cells overexpressing rpS3 showed markedly increased resistance to UV radiation through XPD and rpS3 interaction. Additionally, the knockdown of rpS3 caused reduced NER efficiency in HeLa cells and the overexpression of rpS3 partially restored helicase activity of the TFIIH complex of XP-D cells in vitro. We also present data suggesting that rpS3 is involved in post-excision processing in NER, assisting TFIIH in expediting the repair process by increasing its turnover rate when DNA is damaged. We propose that rpS3 is an accessory protein of the NER pathway and its recruitment to the repair machinery augments repair efficiency upon UV damage by enhancing XPD helicase function and increasing its turnover rate.

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Availability of data and material

The datasets analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.



Cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer


Nucleotide excision repair


Ribosomal protein S3


Transcription factor IIH


Xeroderma pigmentosum


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This paper was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea Grant NRF-2020R1A2C2100803, NRF-2019S1A5A2A03050121 and Korea University Grant.

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YJP, SHK, and JK designed research; YJP, SHK, SML, BSC, and CIS performed research; YJP, SHK, H-DK, and T-SK contributed to data analysis and research design; H-DK and JK supervised the research; and YJP and JK wrote the paper. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to J. Kim.

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Park, Y.J., Kim, S.H., Kim, T.S. et al. Ribosomal protein S3 associates with the TFIIH complex and positively regulates nucleotide excision repair. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-020-03754-x

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  • rpS3
  • Extra-ribosomal function
  • NER
  • XPD