Author(s): Savic V, Sanborn KB, Orange JS, Bassing CH
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Abstract The mammalian histone H2AX protein functions as a dosage-dependent genomic caretaker and tumor suppressor. Phosphorylation of H2AX to form gamma-H2AX in chromatin around DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) is an early event following induction of these hazardous lesions. For a decade, mechanisms that regulate H2AX phosphorylation have been investigated mainly through two-dimensional immunofluorescence (IF). We recently used chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) to measure gamma-H2AX densities along chromosomal DNA strands broken in G(1) phase mouse lymphocytes. Our experiments revealed that (1) gamma-H2AX densities in nucleosomes form at high levels near DSBs and at diminishing levels farther and farther away from DNA ends, and (2) ATM regulates H2AX phosphorylation through both MDC1-dependent and MDC1-independent means. Neither of these mechanisms were discovered by previous if studies due to the inherent limitations of light microscopy. Here, we compare data obtained from parallel gamma-H2AX ChIP and three-dimensional IF analyses and discuss the impact of our findings upon molecular mechanisms that regulate H2AX phosphorylation in chromatin around DNA breakage sites.
This article was published in Cell Cycle
and referenced in Cell & Developmental Biology