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      DNA double-strand break repair-pathway choice in somatic mammalian cells

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          Abstract

          The major pathways of DNA double strand break (DSB) repair have key roles in suppressing genomic instability. However, if deployed in an inappropriate cellular context, these same repair functions can mediate chromosome rearrangements that underlie various human diseases, ranging from developmental disorders to cancer. Two major mechanisms of DSB repair predominate in mammalian cells, namely homologous recombination and non-homologous end joining. In this Review, we outline a ‘decision tree’ of DSB repair pathway choice in somatic mammalian cells, and consider how DSB repair dysfunction can lead to genomic instability. Stalled or broken replication forks present a distinctive challenge to the DSB repair system. Emerging evidence suggests that the ‘rules’ governing stalled fork repair pathway choice differ from those that operate at a conventional DSB.

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          Most cited references195

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          Human CtIP promotes DNA end resection.

          In the S and G2 phases of the cell cycle, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are processed into single-stranded DNA, triggering ATR-dependent checkpoint signalling and DSB repair by homologous recombination. Previous work has implicated the MRE11 complex in such DSB-processing events. Here, we show that the human CtIP (RBBP8) protein confers resistance to DSB-inducing agents and is recruited to DSBs exclusively in the S and G2 cell-cycle phases. Moreover, we reveal that CtIP is required for DSB resection, and thereby for recruitment of replication protein A (RPA) and the protein kinase ATR to DSBs, and for the ensuing ATR activation. Furthermore, we establish that CtIP physically and functionally interacts with the MRE11 complex, and that both CtIP and MRE11 are required for efficient homologous recombination. Finally, we reveal that CtIP has sequence homology with Sae2, which is involved in MRE11-dependent DSB processing in yeast. These findings establish evolutionarily conserved roles for CtIP-like proteins in controlling DSB resection, checkpoint signalling and homologous recombination.
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            ATM activation by DNA double-strand breaks through the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 complex.

            The ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase signals the presence of DNA double-strand breaks in mammalian cells by phosphorylating proteins that initiate cell-cycle arrest, apoptosis, and DNA repair. We show that the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex acts as a double-strand break sensor for ATM and recruits ATM to broken DNA molecules. Inactive ATM dimers were activated in vitro with DNA in the presence of MRN, leading to phosphorylation of the downstream cellular targets p53 and Chk2. ATM autophosphorylation was not required for monomerization of ATM by MRN. The unwinding of DNA ends by MRN was essential for ATM stimulation, which is consistent with the central role of single-stranded DNA as an evolutionarily conserved signal for DNA damage.
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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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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
                Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                1471-0072
                1471-0080
                July 1 2019
                Article
                10.1038/s41580-019-0152-0
                7315405
                31263220
                d2443ecc-a9d1-4bd8-8f5b-7ddb7efb1153
                © 2019

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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