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      The RecQ DNA Helicases in DNA Repair

      1 , 2 , 3 , 1

      Annual Review of Genetics

      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          The RecQ helicases are conserved from bacteria to humans and play a critical role in genome stability. In humans, loss of RecQ gene function is associated with cancer predisposition and/or premature aging. Recent experiments have shown that the RecQ helicases function during distinct steps during DNA repair; DNA end resection, displacement-loop (D-loop) processing, branch migration, and resolution of double Holliday junctions (dHJs). RecQ function in these different processing steps has important implications for its role in repair of double-strand breaks (DSBs) that occur during DNA replication and meiosis, as well as at specific genomic loci such as telomeres.

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          Most cited references 144

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          Sgs1 helicase and two nucleases Dna2 and Exo1 resect DNA double-strand break ends.

          Formation of single-strand DNA (ssDNA) tails at a double-strand break (DSB) is a key step in homologous recombination and DNA-damage signaling. The enzyme(s) producing ssDNA at DSBs in eukaryotes remain unknown. We monitored 5'-strand resection at inducible DSB ends in yeast and identified proteins required for two stages of resection: initiation and long-range 5'-strand resection. We show that the Mre11-Rad50-Xrs2 complex (MRX) initiates 5' degradation, whereas Sgs1 and Dna2 degrade 5' strands exposing long 3' strands. Deletion of SGS1 or DNA2 reduces resection and DSB repair by single-strand annealing between distant repeats while the remaining long-range resection activity depends on the exonuclease Exo1. In exo1Deltasgs1Delta double mutants, the MRX complex together with Sae2 nuclease generate, in a stepwise manner, only few hundred nucleotides of ssDNA at the break, resulting in inefficient gene conversion and G2/M damage checkpoint arrest. These results provide important insights into the early steps of DSB repair in eukaryotes.
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            Sae2, Exo1 and Sgs1 collaborate in DNA double-strand break processing.

            DNA ends exposed after introduction of double-strand breaks (DSBs) undergo 5'-3' nucleolytic degradation to generate single-stranded DNA, the substrate for binding by the Rad51 protein to initiate homologous recombination. This process is poorly understood in eukaryotes, but several factors have been implicated, including the Mre11 complex (Mre11-Rad50-Xrs2/NBS1), Sae2/CtIP/Ctp1 and Exo1. Here we demonstrate that yeast Exo1 nuclease and Sgs1 helicase function in alternative pathways for DSB processing. Novel, partially resected intermediates accumulate in a double mutant lacking Exo1 and Sgs1, which are poor substrates for homologous recombination. The early processing step that generates partly resected intermediates is dependent on Sae2. When Sae2 is absent, in addition to Exo1 and Sgs1, unprocessed DSBs accumulate and homology-dependent repair fails. These results suggest a two-step mechanism for DSB processing during homologous recombination. First, the Mre11 complex and Sae2 remove a small oligonucleotide(s) from the DNA ends to form an early intermediate. Second, Exo1 and/or Sgs1 rapidly process this intermediate to generate extensive tracts of single-stranded DNA that serve as substrate for Rad51.
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              The Bloom's syndrome helicase suppresses crossing over during homologous recombination.

              Mutations in BLM, which encodes a RecQ helicase, give rise to Bloom's syndrome, a disorder associated with cancer predisposition and genomic instability. A defining feature of Bloom's syndrome is an elevated frequency of sister chromatid exchanges. These arise from crossing over of chromatid arms during homologous recombination, a ubiquitous process that exists to repair DNA double-stranded breaks and damaged replication forks. Whereas crossing over is required in meiosis, in mitotic cells it can be associated with detrimental loss of heterozygosity. BLM forms an evolutionarily conserved complex with human topoisomerase IIIalpha (hTOPO IIIalpha), which can break and rejoin DNA to alter its topology. Inactivation of homologues of either protein leads to hyper-recombination in unicellular organisms. Here, we show that BLM and hTOPO IIIalpha together effect the resolution of a recombination intermediate containing a double Holliday junction. The mechanism, which we term double-junction dissolution, is distinct from classical Holliday junction resolution and prevents exchange of flanking sequences. Loss of such an activity explains many of the cellular phenotypes of Bloom's syndrome. These results have wider implications for our understanding of the process of homologous recombination and the mechanisms that exist to prevent tumorigenesis.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Genetics
                Annu. Rev. Genet.
                Annual Reviews
                0066-4197
                1545-2948
                December 2010
                December 2010
                : 44
                : 1
                : 393-417
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Columbia University Medical Center, Department of Genetics & Development, New York, New York 10032; email: ,
                [2 ]CEA, DSV, iRCM, SIGRR, LERA, Fontenay-aux-Roses F-92265, France; email:
                [3 ]CNRS, UMR 217, Fontenay-aux-Roses F-92265, France
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-genet-102209-163602
                4038414
                21047263
                © 2010

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