Ashok R. Venkitaraman

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Minutes after DNA damage, the variant histone H2AX is phosphorylated by protein kinases of the phosphoinositide kinase family, including ATM, ATR or DNA-PK. Phosphorylated (gamma)-H2AX-which recruits molecules that sense or signal the presence of DNA breaks, activating the response that leads to repair-is the earliest known marker of chromosomal DNA(More)
Abnormalities precipitated by a targeted truncation in the murine gene Brca2 define its involvement in DNA repair. In culture, cells harboring truncated Brca2 exhibit a proliferative impediment that worsens with successive passages. Arrest in the G1 and G2/M phases is accompanied by elevated p53 and p21 expression. Increased sensitivity to genotoxic agents,(More)
The breast cancer susceptibility protein BRCA2 controls the function of RAD51, a recombinase enzyme, in pathways for DNA repair by homologous recombination. We report here the structure of a complex between an evolutionarily conserved sequence in BRCA2 (the BRC repeat) and the RecA-homology domain of RAD51. The BRC repeat mimics a motif in RAD51 that serves(More)
The BRCA2 gene is mutated in familial breast and ovarian cancer, and its product is implicated in DNA repair and transcriptional regulation. Here we identify a protein, EMSY, which binds BRCA2 within a region (exon 3) deleted in cancer. EMSY is capable of silencing the activation potential of BRCA2 exon 3, associates with chromatin regulators HP1beta and(More)
How the replication machinery is loaded at origins of DNA replication is poorly understood. Here, we implicate in this process the Xenopus laevis homolog (xRTS) of the RECQL4 helicase mutated in Rothmund-Thomson syndrome. xRTS, which bears homology to the yeast replication factors Sld2/DRC1, is essential for DNA replication in egg extracts. xRTS can be(More)
Individuals carrying BRCA2 mutations are predisposed to breast and ovarian cancers. Here, we show that BRCA2 plays a dual role in regulating the actions of RAD51, a protein essential for homologous recombination and DNA repair. First, interactions between RAD51 and the BRC3 or BRC4 regions of BRCA2 block nucleoprotein filament formation by RAD51.(More)
To clarify RAD51 interactions controlling homologous recombination, we report here the crystal structure of the full-length RAD51 homolog from Pyrococcus furiosus. The structure reveals how RAD51 proteins assemble into inactive heptameric rings and active DNA-bound filaments matching three-dimensional electron microscopy reconstructions. A polymerization(More)
The anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C), a ubiquitin ligase, is the target of the spindle-assembly checkpoint (SAC), and it ubiquitylates protein substrates whose degradation regulates progress through mitosis. The identity of the ubiquitin-conjugating (E2) enzymes that work with the APC/C is unclear. In an RNA interference (RNAi) screen for factors that(More)
How dividing mammalian cells overcome blocks to DNA replication by DNA damage, depleted nucleotide pools, or template-bound proteins is unclear. Here, we show that the response to blocked replication requires BRCA2, a suppressor of human breast cancer. By using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, we demonstrate that Y-shaped DNA junctions at stalled(More)