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Mutat Res. 2006 Apr 11;596(1-2):64-75. Epub 2006 Feb 20.

Loss of Ubr2, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, leads to chromosome fragility and impaired homologous recombinational repair.

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Department of Human Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


The N-end rule pathway of protein degradation targets proteins with destabilizing N-terminal residues. Ubr2 is one of the E3 ubiquitin ligases of the mouse N-end rule pathway. We have previously shown that Ubr2-/- male mice are infertile, owing to the arrest of spermatocytes between the leptotene/zygotene and pachytene of meiosis I, the failure of chromosome pairing, and subsequent apoptosis. Here, we report that mouse fibroblast cells derived from Ubr2-/- embryos display genome instability. The frequency of chromosomal bridges and micronuclei were much higher in Ubr2-/- fibroblasts than in +/+ controls. Metaphase chromosome spreads from Ubr2-/- cells revealed a high incidence of spontaneous chromosomal gaps, indicating chromosomal fragility. These fragile sites were generally replicated late in S phase. Ubr2-/- cells were hypersensitive to mitomycin C, a DNA cross-linking agent, but displayed normal sensitivity to gamma-irradiation. A reporter assay showed that Ubr2-/- cells are significantly impaired in the homologous recombination repair of a double strand break. In contrast, Ubr2-/- cells appeared normal in an assay for non-homologous end joining. Our results therefore unveil the role of the ubiquitin ligase Ubr2 in maintaining genome integrity and in homologous recombination repair.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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