André Nussenzweig

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In Neurospora, DNA unpaired in meiosis both is silenced and induces silencing of all DNA homologous to it. This process, called meiotic silencing by unpaired DNA, is thought to protect the host genome from invasion by transposable elements. We now show that silencing of unpaired (unsynapsed) chromosome regions also takes place in the mouse during both male(More)
Defective DNA repair by homologous recombination (HR) is thought to be a major contributor to tumorigenesis in individuals carrying Brca1 mutations. Here, we show that DNA breaks in Brca1-deficient cells are aberrantly joined into complex chromosome rearrangements by a process dependent on the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) factors 53BP1 and DNA ligase 4.(More)
Higher order chromatin structure presents a barrier to the recognition and repair of DNA damage. Double-strand breaks (DSBs) induce histone H2AX phosphorylation, which is associated with the recruitment of repair factors to damaged DNA. To help clarify the physiological role of H2AX, we targeted H2AX in mice. Although H2AX is not essential for(More)
At close hand to one's genomic material are the histones that make up the nucleosome. Standing guard, one variant stays hidden doubling as one of the core histones. But, thanks to its prime positioning, a variation in the tail of H2AX enables rapid modification of the histone code in response to DNA damage. A role for H2AX phosphorylation has been(More)
A diminished capacity to maintain tissue homeostasis is a central physiological characteristic of ageing. As stem cells regulate tissue homeostasis, depletion of stem cell reserves and/or diminished stem cell function have been postulated to contribute to ageing. It has further been suggested that accumulated DNA damage could be a principal mechanism(More)
Histone H2AX is rapidly phosphorylated in the chromatin micro-environment surrounding a DNA double-strand break (DSB). Although H2AX deficiency is not detrimental to life, H2AX is required for the accumulation of numerous essential proteins into irradiation induced foci (IRIF). However, the relationship between IRIF formation, H2AX phosphorylation (γ-H2AX)(More)
During meiotic prophase in male mammals, the X and Y chromosomes condense to form a macrochromatin body, termed the sex, or XY, body, within which X- and Y-linked genes are transcriptionally repressed. The molecular basis and biological function of both sex body formation and meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI) are unknown. A phosphorylated form of(More)
MDC1 functions in checkpoint activation and DNA repair following DNA damage. To address the physiological role of MDC1, we disrupted the MDC1 gene in mice. MDC1-/- mice recapitulated many phenotypes of H2AX-/- mice, including growth retardation, male infertility, immune defects, chromosome instability, DNA repair defects, and radiation sensitivity. At the(More)
The repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) is facilitated by the phosphorylation of H2AX, which organizes DNA damage signaling and chromatin remodeling complexes in the vicinity of the lesion. The disruption of DNA integrity induces an alteration of chromatin architecture that has been proposed to activate the DNA damage transducing kinase ataxia(More)
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in B lymphocytes arise stochastically during replication or as a result of targeted DNA damage by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID). Here we identify recurrent, early replicating, and AID-independent DNA lesions, termed early replication fragile sites (ERFSs), by genome-wide localization of DNA repair proteins in B(More)