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The cellular response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) is mobilized by the protein kinase ATM, which phosphorylates key players in the DNA damage response (DDR) network. A major question is how ATM controls DSB repair. Optimal repair requires chromatin relaxation at damaged sites. Chromatin reorganization is coupled to dynamic alterations in histone(More)
The human MOF gene encodes a protein that specifically acetylates histone H4 at lysine 16 (H4K16ac). Here we show that reduced levels of H4K16ac correlate with a defective DNA damage response (DDR) and double-strand break (DSB) repair to ionizing radiation (IR). The defect, however, is not due to altered expression of proteins involved in DDR. Abrogation of(More)
Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) plays a critical role in the cellular response to DNA damage. In response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), ATM is autophosphorylated at serine 1981. Although this autophosphorylation is widely considered a sign of ATM activation, it is still not clear if autophosphorylation is required for ATM functions including(More)
hSSB1 is a newly discovered single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-binding protein that is essential for efficient DNA double-strand break signalling through ATM. However, the mechanism by which hSSB1 functions to allow efficient signalling is unknown. Here, we show that hSSB1 is recruited rapidly to sites of double-strand DNA breaks (DSBs) in all interphase cells(More)
The protein kinases ATM and DNA-PKcs play critical roles in the cellular response to DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). ATM and DNA-PKcs are activated in response to DSBs and play several important roles in propagation of the damage signal and for the repair of DNA damage. Recent work from several groups, including ours, has focused on studying the dynamics(More)
DNA double strand break (DSB) repair by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) is initiated by DSB detection by Ku70/80 (Ku) and DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) recruitment, which promotes pathway progression through poorly defined mechanisms. Here, Ku and DNA-PKcs solution structures alone and in complex with DNA, defined by x-ray(More)
DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) are repaired by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or homologous recombination (HR). The DNA cell cycle stage and resection of the DSB ends are two key mechanisms which are believed to push DSB repair to the HR pathway. Here, we show that the NHEJ factor Ku80 associates with DSBs in S phase, when HR is thought to be the(More)
In higher animal cells, the principal limitation of gene-targeting technology is the extremely low efficiency of targeted integration, which occurs three to four orders of magnitude less frequently than random integration. Assuming that random integration mechanistically involves non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), inactivation of this pathway should reduce(More)
DNA topoisomerase I (Top1) generates transient DNA single-strand breaks via the formation of cleavage complexes in which the enzyme is linked to the 3'-phosphate of the cleavage strand. The anticancer drug camptothecin (CPT) poisons Top1 by trapping cleavage complexes, thereby inducing Top1-linked single-strand breaks. Such DNA lesions are converted into(More)
Targeted gene disruption is a powerful tool for studying gene function in cells and animals. In addition, this technology includes a potential to correct disease-causing mutations. However, constructing targeting vectors is a laborious step in the gene-targeting strategy, even apart from the low efficiency of homologous recombination in mammals. Here, we(More)