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Biochemistry. 2006 Apr 4;45(13):4164-72.

Analysis of DNA-dependent protein kinase-mediated DNA end joining by two-photon fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada.

Abstract

Nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) is the primary mechanism by which mammalian cells repair DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Proteins known to play a role in NHEJ include the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs), the Ku 70/Ku 80 heterodimer (Ku), XRCC4, and DNA ligase IV. One of the main roles of the DNA-PKcs-Ku complex is to bring the ends of the DSB together in a process termed synapsis, prior to end joining. Synapsis results in the autophosphorylation of DNA-PKcs, which is required to make the DNA ends available for ligation. Here, we describe a novel assay using two-photon fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy that allows for the analysis of DNA synapsis and end joining in solution using purified proteins. We demonstrate that although autophosphorylation-defective DNA-PKcs does not support DNA ligase-mediated DNA end joining, like wild-type (WT) DNA-PKcs, it is capable of Ku-dependent DNA synapsis in solution. Moreover, we show that, in the presence of Ku, both WT DNA-PKcs and autophosphorylation-defective DNA-PKcs promote the formation of multiple, large multi-DNA complexes in solution, suggesting that, rather than align two opposing DNA ends, multiple DNA-PK molecules may serve to bring multiple DNA ends into the NHEJ complex.

PMID:
16566590
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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