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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Jul 22;94(15):8076-81.

Ku70-deficient embryonic stem cells have increased ionizing radiosensitivity, defective DNA end-binding activity, and inability to support V(D)J recombination.

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  • 1Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

V(D)J recombination requires both lymphoid-specific and generally expressed enzymatic activities. All three known generally expressed activities involved in V(D)J recombination are also involved in DNA double-strand break repair (DSBR). Two of these are components of the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) and include Ku80 and DNA-PK catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs); the third, XRCC4, is a protein of unknown function. The Ku70 protein is an additional component of DNA-PK; Ku70 forms a heterodimer with Ku80 to generate the DNA end-binding component of the enzyme. To test putative functions for Ku70, we have used gene-targeted mutation to generate a murine embryonic stem cell line which lacks Ku70 expression. We find that the Ku70(-/-) cells produce no detectable Ku70 and very little Ku80, suggesting a direct interrelationship between their levels. Correspondingly, these cells lack the nonspecific DNA end-binding activity associated with Ku. Significantly, the Ku70(-/-) embryonic stem cells have markedly increased sensitivity to gamma-irradiation relative to Ku70(+/-) or wild-type embryonic stem cells. Furthermore, the Ku70(-/-) cells lack the ability to effectively rejoin signal and coding ends liberated in transiently introduced V(D)J recombination substrates by enforced RAG-1 and RAG-2 expression. We conclude that the Ku70 gene product is involved in DSBR and V(D)J recombination and confirm that the Ku70 gene can be classified as a member of the x-ray cross-complementation group 6 (XRCC6). Potential differences between the Ku70(-/-) and Ku80(-/-) V(D)J recombination defects are discussed.

PMID:
9223317
PMCID:
PMC21559
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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