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Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Sep;33(18):3568-79. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00308-13. Epub 2013 Jul 8.

Functional intersection of ATM and DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit in coding end joining during V(D)J recombination.

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1
Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Abstract

V(D)J recombination is initiated by the RAG endonuclease, which introduces DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) at the border between two recombining gene segments, generating two hairpin-sealed coding ends and two blunt signal ends. ATM and DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) are serine-threonine kinases that orchestrate the cellular responses to DNA DSBs. During V(D)J recombination, ATM and DNA-PKcs have unique functions in the repair of coding DNA ends. ATM deficiency leads to instability of postcleavage complexes and the loss of coding ends from these complexes. DNA-PKcs deficiency leads to a nearly complete block in coding join formation, as DNA-PKcs is required to activate Artemis, the endonuclease that opens hairpin-sealed coding ends. In contrast to loss of DNA-PKcs protein, here we show that inhibition of DNA-PKcs kinase activity has no effect on coding join formation when ATM is present and its kinase activity is intact. The ability of ATM to compensate for DNA-PKcs kinase activity depends on the integrity of three threonines in DNA-PKcs that are phosphorylation targets of ATM, suggesting that ATM can modulate DNA-PKcs activity through direct phosphorylation of DNA-PKcs. Mutation of these threonine residues to alanine (DNA-PKcs(3A)) renders DNA-PKcs dependent on its intrinsic kinase activity during coding end joining, at a step downstream of opening hairpin-sealed coding ends. Thus, DNA-PKcs has critical functions in coding end joining beyond promoting Artemis endonuclease activity, and these functions can be regulated redundantly by the kinase activity of either ATM or DNA-PKcs.

PMID:
23836881
PMCID:
PMC3753869
DOI:
10.1128/MCB.00308-13
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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