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J Biol Chem. 2001 Nov 30;276(48):44413-8. Epub 2001 Sep 27.

Genetic analysis of the DNA-dependent protein kinase reveals an inhibitory role of Ku in late S-G2 phase DNA double-strand break repair.

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  • 1CREST Research Project, Radiation Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Konoe Yoshida, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.

Abstract

Two major complementary double-strand break (DSB) repair pathways exist in vertebrates, homologous recombination (HR), which involves Rad54, and non-homologous end-joining, which requires the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK). DNA-PK comprises a catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) and a DNA-binding Ku70 and Ku80 heterodimer. To define the activities of individual DNA-PK components in DSB repair, we targeted the DNA-PKcs gene in chicken DT40 cells. DNA-PKcs deficiency caused a DSB repair defect that was, unexpectedly, suppressed by KU70 disruption. We have shown previously that genetic ablation of Ku70 confers RAD54-dependent radioresistance on S-G(2) phase cells, when sister chromatids are available for HR repair. To test whether direct interference by Ku70 with HR might explain the Ku70(-/-)/DNA-PKcs(-/-/-) radioresistance, we monitored HR activities directly in Ku- and DNA-PKcs-deficient cells. The frequency of intrachromosomal HR induced by the I-SceI restriction enzyme was increased in the absence of Ku but not of DNA-PKcs. Significantly, abrogation of HR activity by targeting RAD54 in Ku70(-/-) or DNA-PKcs(-/-/-) cells caused extreme radiosensitivity, suggesting that the relative radioresistance seen with loss of Ku70 was because of HR-dependent repair pathways. Our findings suggest that Ku can interfere with HR-mediated DSB repair, perhaps competing with HR for DSB recognition.

PMID:
11577093
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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