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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)
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)
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)
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)
Class switch recombination (CSR) is a region-specific DNA recombination reaction that replaces one immunoglobulin heavy-chain constant region (Ch) gene with another. This enables a single variable (V) region gene to be used in conjunction with different downstream Ch genes, each having a unique biological activity. The molecular mechanisms that mediate CSR(More)
Histone H2AX becomes phosphorylated in chromatin domains flanking sites of DNA double-strand breakage associated with gamma-irradiation, meiotic recombination, DNA replication, and antigen receptor rearrangements. Here, we show that loss of a single H2AX allele compromises genomic integrity and enhances the susceptibility to cancer in the absence of p53. In(More)
The chromosomal instability syndromes Nijmegen breakage syndrome (NBS) and ataxia telangiectasia (AT) share many overlapping phenotypes, including cancer predisposition, radiation sensitivity, cell-cycle checkpoint defects, immunodeficiency, and gonadal dysfunction. The NBS protein Nbs1 is not only a downstream target of AT mutated (ATM) kinase but also(More)
Chromosomal rearrangements, including translocations, require formation and joining of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). These events disrupt the integrity of the genome and are frequently involved in producing leukemias, lymphomas and sarcomas. Despite the importance of these events, current understanding of their genesis is limited. To examine the origins(More)
Chromosome translocations between c-myc and immunoglobulin (Ig) are associated with Burkitt's lymphoma in humans and with pristane- and IL6-induced plasmacytomas in mice. These translocations frequently involve Ig switch regions, suggesting that they might be the result of aberrant Ig class switch recombination (CSR). However, a direct link between CSR and(More)