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The prime objective for every life form is to deliver its genetic material, intact and unchanged, to the next generation. This must be achieved despite constant assaults by endogenous and environmental agents on the DNA. To counter this threat, life has evolved several systems to detect DNA damage, signal its presence and mediate its repair. Such responses,(More)
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are highly cytotoxic lesions that are generated by ionizing radiation and various DNA-damaging chemicals. Following DSB formation, cells activate the DNA-damage response (DDR) protein kinases ATM, ATR and DNA-PK (also known as PRKDC). These then trigger histone H2AX (also known as H2AFX) phosphorylation and the accumulation(More)
Cells respond to DNA double-strand breaks by recruiting factors such as the DNA-damage mediator protein MDC1, the p53-binding protein 1 (53BP1), and the breast cancer susceptibility protein BRCA1 to sites of damaged DNA. Here, we reveal that the ubiquitin ligase RNF8 mediates ubiquitin conjugation and 53BP1 and BRCA1 focal accumulation at sites of DNA(More)
In the S and G2 phases of the cell cycle, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are processed into single-stranded DNA, triggering ATR-dependent checkpoint signalling and DSB repair by homologous recombination. Previous work has implicated the MRE11 complex in such DSB-processing events. Here, we show that the human CtIP (RBBP8) protein confers resistance to(More)
Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM), ataxia-telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) and DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) are members of the phosphoinositide-3-kinase-related protein kinase (PIKK) family, and are rapidly activated in response to DNA damage. ATM and DNA-PKcs respond mainly to DNA double-strand breaks, whereas ATR is(More)
Genome-wide active DNA demethylation in primordial germ cells (PGCs), which reprograms the epigenome for totipotency, is linked to changes in nuclear architecture, loss of histone modifications, and widespread histone replacement. Here, we show that DNA demethylation in the mouse PGCs is mechanistically linked to the appearance of single-stranded DNA(More)
DNA nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) is a predominant pathway of DNA double-strand break repair in mammalian cells, and defects in it cause radiosensitivity at the cellular and whole-organism levels. Central to NHEJ is the protein complex containing DNA Ligase IV and XRCC4. By searching for additional XRCC4-interacting factors, we identified a previously(More)
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are repaired by two principal mechanisms: non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR). HR is the most accurate DSB repair mechanism but is generally restricted to the S and G2 phases of the cell cycle, when DNA has been replicated and a sister chromatid is available as a repair template. By contrast,(More)
MRE11, RAD50 and NBS1 form a highly conserved protein complex (the MRE11 complex) that is involved in the detection, signalling and repair of DNA damage. We identify MDC1 (KIAA0170/NFBD1), a protein that contains a forkhead-associated (FHA) domain and two BRCA1 carboxy-terminal (BRCT) domains, as a binding partner for the MRE11 complex. We show that, in(More)
Histone proteins associate with and compact eukaryotic nuclear DNA to form chromatin. The basic unit of chromatin is the nucleosome, which is made up of 146 base pairs of DNA wrapped around two of each of four core histones, H2A, H2B, H3 and H4. Chromatin structure and its regulation are important in transcription and DNA replication. We therefore thought(More)