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Cell. 2000 Sep 15;102(6):721-9.

Binding of inositol phosphate to DNA-PK and stimulation of double-strand break repair.

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  • 1Imperial Cancer Research Fund, South Mimms, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.


In mammalian cells, double-strand breaks in DNA can be repaired by nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ), a process dependent upon Ku70/80, DNA-PKcs, XRCC4, and DNA ligase IV. Starting with HeLa cell-free extracts, which promote NHEJ in a reaction dependent upon all of these proteins, we have purified a novel factor that stimulates DNA end-joining in vitro. Using a combination of phosphorus NMR, mass spectroscopy, and strong anion exchange chromatography, we identify this factor as inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6). Purified IP6 is bound by DNA-PK and specifically stimulates DNA-PK-dependent end-joining in vitro. The involvement of inositol phosphate in DNA-PK-dependent NHEJ is of particular interest since the catalytic domain of DNA-PKcs is similar to that found in the phosphatidylinositol 3 (PI 3)-kinase family.

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