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Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2015 Mar;117(2-3):182-193. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2014.12.004. Epub 2015 Jan 7.

Envisioning the dynamics and flexibility of Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 complex to decipher its roles in DNA replication and repair.

Author information

1
Life Science Division, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
2
Life Science Division, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. Electronic address: jatainer@lbl.gov.

Abstract

The Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) complex is a dynamic macromolecular machine that acts in the first steps of DNA double strand break repair, and each of its components has intrinsic dynamics and flexibility properties that are directly linked with their functions. As a result, deciphering the functional structural biology of the MRN complex is driving novel and integrated technologies to define the dynamic structural biology of protein machinery interacting with DNA. Rad50 promotes dramatic long-range allostery through its coiled-coil and zinc-hook domains. Its ATPase activity drives dynamic transitions between monomeric and dimeric forms that can be modulated with mutants modifying the ATPase rate to control end joining versus resection activities. The biological functions of Mre11's dual endo- and exonuclease activities in repair pathway choice were enigmatic until recently, when they were unveiled by the development of specific nuclease inhibitors. Mre11 dimer flexibility, which may be regulated in cells to control MRN function, suggests new inhibitor design strategies for cancer intervention. Nbs1 has FHA and BRCT domains to bind multiple interaction partners that further regulate MRN. One of them, CtIP, modulates the Mre11 excision activity for homologous recombination repair. Overall, these combined properties suggest novel therapeutic strategies. Furthermore, they collectively help to explain how MRN regulates DNA repair pathway choice with implications for improving the design and analysis of cancer clinical trials that employ DNA damaging agents or target the DNA damage response.

KEYWORDS:

Allostery; Conformational change; CtIP; Double strand break repair; Dynamics; Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1

PMID:
25576492
PMCID:
PMC4417436
DOI:
10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2014.12.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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