Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mutat Res. 2000 Jun 30;451(1-2):71-89.

Tying up loose ends: nonhomologous end-joining in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Author information

  • 1Chromosome Stability Group, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, PO Box 12233, 111 Alexander Drive, NIH, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


The ends of chromosomal DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) can be accurately rejoined by at least two discrete pathways, homologous recombination and nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ). The NHEJ pathway is essential for repair of specific classes of DSB termini in cells of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Endonuclease-induced DSBs retaining complementary single-stranded DNA overhangs are repaired efficiently by end-joining. In contrast, damaged DSB ends (e.g., termini produced by ionizing radiation) are poor substrates for this pathway. NHEJ repair involves the functions of at least 10 genes, including YKU70, YKU80, DNL4, LIF1, SIR2, SIR3, SIR4, RAD50, MRE11, and XRS2. Most or all of these genes are required for efficient recombination-independent recircularization of linearized plasmids and for rejoining of EcoRI endonuclease-induced chromosomal DSBs in vivo. Several NHEJ mutants also display aberrant processing and rejoining of DSBs that are generated by HO endonuclease or formed spontaneously in dicentric plasmids. In addition, all NHEJ genes except DNL4 and LIF1 are required for stabilization of telomeric repeat sequences. Each of the proteins involved in NHEJ appears to bind, directly or through protein associations, with the ends of linear DNA. Enzymatic and/or structural roles in the rejoining of DSB termini have been postulated for several proteins within the group. Most yeast NHEJ genes have homologues in human cells and many biochemical activities and protein:protein interactions have been conserved in higher eucaryotes. Similarities and differences between NHEJ repair in yeast and mammalian cells are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center