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DNA Repair (Amst). 2008 Jun 1;7(6):849-57. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2008.02.002. Epub 2008 Mar 28.

The methyl methanesulfonate induced S-phase delay in XRCC1-deficient cells requires ATM and ATR.

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  • 1International Agency for Research on Cancer, 150 cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon, France.


X-ray repair cross-complementing 1 (XRCC1) is required for DNA single-strand break and base excision repair (BER) in human cells. XRCC1-deficient human cells show hypersensitivity to cell killing, increased genetic instability and a significant delay in S-phase progression after exposure to the alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). Using RNAi modulation of XRCC1 levels, we show here that this S-phase delay is associated with significantly increased levels of recombinational repair as visualized by Rad51 focus formation. Using ATM- and ATR-defective cells and an ATM specific kinase inhibitor we demonstrate for the first time that the MMS-induced S-phase checkpoint requires both ATM and ATR. This unique dependency is associated with phosphorylation of ATM/ATR downstream targets or effectors such as SMC1 and Chk1. These results support the hypothesis that after MMS-treatment, the presence of unresolved BER intermediates gives rise to lesions that activate both ATM and ATR and that during the consequent S-phase delay, such intermediates may be repaired by a recombinational pathway which involves the Rad51 protein.

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