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Cell Div. 2006 Aug 31;1:19.

Tying the loose ends together in DNA double strand break repair with 53BP1.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


To maintain genomic stability and ensure the fidelity of chromosomal transmission, cells respond to various forms of genotoxic stress, including DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs), through the activation of DNA damage response signaling networks. In response to DSBs as induced by ionizing radiation (IR), during DNA replication, or through immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) rearrangements in B cells of lymphoid origin, the phosphatidyl inositol-like kinase (PIK) kinases ATM (mutated in ataxia telangiectasia), ATR (ATM and Rad3-related kinase), and the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) activate signaling pathways that lead to DSB repair. DSBs are repaired by either of two major, non-mutually exclusive pathways: homologous recombination (HR) that utilizes an undamaged sister chromatid template (or homologous chromosome) and non- homologous end joining (NHEJ), an error prone mechanism that processes and joins broken DNA ends through the coordinated effort of a small set of ubiquitous factors (DNA-PKcs, Ku70, Ku80, artemis, Xrcc4/DNA lig IV, and XLF/Cernunnos). The PIK kinases phosphorylate a variety of effector substrates that propagate the DNA damage signal, ultimately resulting in various biological outputs that influence cell cycle arrest, transcription, DNA repair, and apoptosis. A variety of data has revealed a critical role for p53-binding protein 1 (53BP1) in the cellular response to DSBs including various aspects of p53 function. Importantly, 53BP1 plays a major role in suppressing translocations, particularly in B and T cells. This report will review past experiments and current knowledge regarding the role of 53BP1 in the DNA damage response.

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