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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2007 Feb 9;353(2):394-8. Epub 2006 Dec 13.

Characterization of the plant homolog of Nijmegen breakage syndrome 1: Involvement in DNA repair and recombination.

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Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Ibaraki University, Bunkyo 2-1-1, Mito, Ibaraki 310-8512, Japan.


The Nbs1 gene is known to code for a protein involved in the hereditary cancer-prone disease, Nijmegen breakage syndrome. This gene is conserved in animals and fungi, but no plant homolog is known. The work reported here describes a homolog of Nbs1 isolated from higher plants. The Nbs1 proteins from both Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa are smaller in size than animal or yeast Nbs1, but both contain the conserved Nbs1 domains such as the FHA/BRCT domain, the Mre11-binding domain, and the Atm-interacting domain in orientations similar to what is seen in animal Nbs1. The OsNbs1 protein interacted not only with plant Mre11, but also with animal Mre11. In plants, OsNbs1 mRNA expression was found to be higher in the shoot apex and young flower, and AtNbs1 expression increased when plants were exposed to 100 Gy of X-rays. These results suggest that plant Nbs1 could participate in a Rad50/Mre11/Nbs1 complex, and could be essential for the regulation of DNA recombination and DNA damage responses.

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