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DNA-binding determinants promoting NHEJ by human Polm

AuthorsMartín, María José ; Juárez, Raquel; Blanco Dávila, Luis
Issue Date2012
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationNucleic Acids Research 40: 11389- 11403 (2012)
AbstractNon-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), the preferred pathway to repair double-strand breaks (DSBs) in higher eukaryotes, relies on a collection of molecular tools to process the broken ends, including specific DNA polymerases. Among them, Polο is unique as it can catalyze DNA synthesis upon connection of two non-complementary ends. Here, we demonstrate that this capacity is intrinsic to Polο, not conferred by other NHEJ factors. To understand the molecular determinants of its specific function in NHEJ, the interaction of human Polο with DNA has been directly visualized by electromobility shift assay and footprinting assays. Stable interaction with a DNA gap requires the presence of a recessive 5′-P, thus orienting the catalytic domain for primer and nucleotide binding. Accordingly, recognition of the 5′-P is crucial to align the two DNA substrates of the NHEJ reaction. Site-directed mutagenesis demonstrates the relevance of three specific residues (Lys 249, Arg253 and Arg416) in stabilizing the primer strand during end synapsis, allowing a range of microhomology-induced distortions beneficial for NHEJ. Moreover, our results suggest that the Polο BRCT domain, thought to be exclusively involved in interaction with NHEJ core factors, has a direct role in binding the DNA region neighbor to the 5′-P, thus boosting Polο-mediated NHEJ reactions. © 2012 The Author(s).
Identifiersdoi: 10.1093/nar/gks896
issn: 0305-1048
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