Ultraviolet-inactivated Hemophilus influenzae transforming DNA recovers its activity when mixed with cell-free extracts of bakers' yeast and exposed to visible light. The active agent in the extract is not used up in the reaction, and purification has not separated it into more than one non-dialyzable component. It differs from the agent in Escherichia coli extract, which produces very similar photoreactivation, but which can be resolved into non-dialyzable and dialyzable components, the latter being used up during illumination.
The yeast agent can be salted out of solution and recovered quantitatively; it is inactivated by crystalline trypsin and chymotrypsin and by brief heating at 60°C.—all facts suggesting that it is an enzyme for which ultraviolet lesions in the DNA serve as substrate. The kinetics of recovery are also consistent with such an assumption.
This enzyme is unusual both because it is involved in a light-dependent reaction and because it has a non-destructive action on DNA outside an intact cell.