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Genetics. 2005 Dec;171(4):1513-22. Epub 2005 Sep 2.

The yeast histone chaperone chromatin assembly factor 1 protects against double-strand DNA-damaging agents.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center at Fitzsimons, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


The removal of histones from DNA and their subsequent replacement is likely to be necessary for all processes that require access to the DNA sequence in eukaryotic cells. The histone chaperone chromatin assembly factor 1 (CAF-1) mediates histone H3-H4 assembly during DNA replication and nucleotide excision repair in vitro. We have found that budding yeast deleted for the genes encoding CAF-1 are highly sensitive to double-strand DNA-damaging agents. Our genetic analyses indicate that CAF-1 plays a role in both homologous recombination and nonhomologous end-joining pathways and that the function of CAF-1 during double-strand repair is distinct from that of another histone H3-H4 chaperone, anti-silencing function 1 (ASF1). CAF-1 does not protect the genome by assembling it into a damage-resistant chromatin structure, because induction of CAF-1 after DNA damage is sufficient to restore viability. Furthermore, CAF-1 is not required for repair of the DNA per se or for DNA damage checkpoint function. CAF-1-mediated resistance to DNA damage is dependent on the ability of CAF-1 to bind PCNA, indicating that PCNA may recruit CAF-1 to sites of double-strand DNA repair. We propose that CAF-1 has an essential role in assembling chromatin during double-strand-DNA repair.

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