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Annu Rev Biochem. 2018 Jun 20;87:263-294. doi: 10.1146/annurev-biochem-062917-012415. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

The MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 Complex Conducts the Orchestration of Damage Signaling and Outcomes to Stress in DNA Replication and Repair.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA; email: ,
Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


Genomic instability in disease and its fidelity in health depend on the DNA damage response (DDR), regulated in part from the complex of meiotic recombination 11 homolog 1 (MRE11), ATP-binding cassette-ATPase (RAD50), and phosphopeptide-binding Nijmegen breakage syndrome protein 1 (NBS1). The MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex forms a multifunctional DDR machine. Within its network assemblies, MRN is the core conductor for the initial and sustained responses to DNA double-strand breaks, stalled replication forks, dysfunctional telomeres, and viral DNA infection. MRN can interfere with cancer therapy and is an attractive target for precision medicine. Its conformations change the paradigm whereby kinases initiate damage sensing. Delineated results reveal kinase activation, posttranslational targeting, functional scaffolding, conformations storing binding energy and enabling access, interactions with hub proteins such as replication protein A (RPA), and distinct networks at DNA breaks and forks. MRN biochemistry provides prototypic insights into how it initiates, implements, and regulates multifunctional responses to genomic stress.


ATPase; BRCA1 C-terminal domains; BRCT domains; CtBP-interacting protein tetramerization; CtIP tetramerization; FHA domain; coiled-coil domain; forkhead-associated domain; nuclease

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