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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)
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)
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)
53BP1 participates early in the DNA damage response and is involved in cell cycle checkpoint control. Moreover, the phenotype of mice and cells deficient in 53BP1 suggests a defect in DNA repair (Ward et al., 2003b). Therefore, we asked whether or not 53BP1 would be required for the efficient repair of DNA double strand breaks. Our data indicate that(More)
Chromosomal translocations involving the immunoglobulin switch region are a hallmark feature of B-cell malignancies. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism by which primary B cells acquire or guard against these lesions. Here we find that translocations between c-myc and the IgH locus (Igh) are induced in primary B cells within hours of(More)
Recurrent chromosomal translocations underlie both haematopoietic and solid tumours. Their origin has been ascribed to selection of random rearrangements, targeted DNA damage, or frequent nuclear interactions between translocation partners; however, the relative contribution of each of these elements has not been measured directly or on a large scale. Here(More)
Class switch recombination (CSR) diversifies antibodies by joining highly repetitive DNA elements, which are separated by 60-200 kbp. CSR is initiated by activation-induced cytidine deaminase, an enzyme that produces multiple DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in switch regions. Switch regions are joined by a mechanism that requires an intact DNA damage(More)
Variable, diversity and joining gene segment (V(D)J) recombination assembles immunoglobulin heavy or light chain (IgH or IgL) variable region exons in developing bone marrow B cells, whereas class switch recombination (CSR) exchanges IgH constant region exons in peripheral B cells. Both processes use directed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) repaired by(More)
Genetic disorders affecting cellular responses to DNA damage are characterized by high rates of translocations involving antigen receptor loci and increased susceptibility to lymphoid malignancies. We report that the Nijmegen breakage syndrome protein (NBS1) and histone gamma-H2AX, which associate with irradiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs),(More)
Cancer susceptibility genes have been classified into two groups: gatekeepers and caretakers. Gatekeepers are genes that control cell proliferation and death, whereas caretakers are DNA repair genes whose inactivation leads to genetic instability. Abrogation of both caretaker and gatekeeper function markedly increases cancer susceptibility. Although the(More)