Author(s): Cheng Q, Barboule N, Frit P, Gomez D, Bombarde O,
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Abstract In mammalian cells, the main pathway for DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) repair is classical non-homologous end joining (C-NHEJ). An alternative or back-up NHEJ (B-NHEJ) pathway has emerged which operates preferentially under C-NHEJ defective conditions. Although B-NHEJ appears particularly relevant to genomic instability associated with cancer, its components and regulation are still largely unknown. To get insights into this pathway, we have knocked-down Ku, the main contributor to C-NHEJ. Thus, models of human cell lines have been engineered in which the expression of Ku70/80 heterodimer can be significantly lowered by the conditional induction of a shRNA against Ku70. On Ku reduction in cells, resulting NHEJ competent protein extracts showed a shift from C- to B-NHEJ that could be reversed by addition of purified Ku protein. Using a cellular fractionation protocol after treatment with a strong DSBs inducer followed by western blotting or immunostaining, we established that, among C-NHEJ factors, Ku is the main counteracting factor against mobilization of PARP1 and the MRN complex to damaged chromatin. In addition, Ku limits PAR synthesis and single-stranded DNA production in response to DSBs. These data support the involvement of PARP1 and the MRN proteins in the B-NHEJ route for the repair of DNA DSBs. © The Author(s) 2011. Published by Oxford University Press.
This article was published in Nucleic Acids Res
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy