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PLoS Genet. 2009 Oct;5(10):e1000683. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000683. Epub 2009 Oct 16.

Limiting the persistence of a chromosome break diminishes its mutagenic potential.

Author information

1
Department of Cancer Biology, Division of Radiation Biology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, California, USA.

Abstract

To characterize the repair pathways of chromosome double-strand breaks (DSBs), one approach involves monitoring the repair of site-specific DSBs generated by rare-cutting endonucleases, such as I-SceI. Using this method, we first describe the roles of Ercc1, Msh2, Nbs1, Xrcc4, and Brca1 in a set of distinct repair events. Subsequently, we considered that the outcome of such assays could be influenced by the persistent nature of I-SceI-induced DSBs, in that end-joining (EJ) products that restore the I-SceI site are prone to repeated cutting. To address this aspect of repair, we modified I-SceI-induced DSBs by co-expressing I-SceI with a non-processive 3' exonuclease, Trex2, which we predicted would cause partial degradation of I-SceI 3' overhangs. We find that Trex2 expression facilitates the formation of I-SceI-resistant EJ products, which reduces the potential for repeated cutting by I-SceI and, hence, limits the persistence of I-SceI-induced DSBs. Using this approach, we find that Trex2 expression causes a significant reduction in the frequency of repair pathways that result in substantial deletion mutations: EJ between distal ends of two tandem DSBs, single-strand annealing, and alternative-NHEJ. In contrast, Trex2 expression does not inhibit homology-directed repair. These results indicate that limiting the persistence of a DSB causes a reduction in the frequency of repair pathways that lead to significant genetic loss. Furthermore, we find that individual genetic factors play distinct roles during repair of non-cohesive DSB ends that are generated via co-expression of I-SceI with Trex2.

PMID:
19834534
PMCID:
PMC2752804
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1000683
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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