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Mol Cell. 2004 Dec 22;16(6):991-1002.

DNA damage response pathway uses histone modification to assemble a double-strand break-specific cohesin domain.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Embryology, The Carnegie Institution of Washington, Baltimore, MD 21210, USA.


The postreplicative repair of double-strand breaks (DSBs) is thought to require sister chromatid cohesion, provided by the cohesin complex along the chromosome arms. A further specialized role for cohesin in DSB repair is suggested by its de novo recruitment to regions of DNA damage in mammals. Here, we show in budding yeast that a single DSB induces the formation of a approximately 100 kb cohesin domain around the lesion. Our analyses suggest that the primary DNA damage checkpoint kinases Mec1p and Tel1p phosphorylate histone H2AX to generate a large domain, which is permissive for cohesin binding. Cohesin binding to the phospho-H2AX domain is enabled by Mre11p, a component of a critical repair complex, and Scc2p, a component of the cohesin loading machinery that is necessary for sister chromatid cohesion. We also provide evidence that the DSB-induced cohesin domain functions in postreplicative repair.

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