Assembly and function of DNA double-strand break repair foci in mammalian cells

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are among the most cytotoxic types of DNA damage, which if left unrepaired can lead to mutations or gross chromosomal aberrations, and promote the onset of diseases associated with genomic instability such as cancer. One of the most discernible hallmarks of the cellular response to DSBs is the accumulation and local concentration of a plethora of DNA damage signaling and repair proteins in the vicinity of the lesion, initiated by ATM-mediated phosphorylation of H2AX (¿-H2AX) and culminating in the generation of distinct nuclear compartments, so-called Ionizing Radiation-Induced Foci (IRIF). The assembly of proteins at the DSB-flanking chromatin occurs in a highly ordered and strictly hierarchical fashion. To a large extent, this is achieved by regulation of protein-protein interactions triggered by a variety of post-translational modifications including phosphorylation, ubiquitylation, SUMOylation, and acetylation. Over the last decade, insight into the identity of proteins residing in IRIF and the molecular underpinnings of their retention at these structures has been vastly expanded. Despite such advances, however, our understanding of the biological relevance of such DNA repair foci still remains limited. In this review, we focus on recent discoveries on the mechanisms that govern the formation of IRIF, and discuss the implications of such findings in light of our understanding of the physiological importance of these structures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalD N A Repair
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1219-28
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2010

    Research areas

  • Animals, BRCA1 Protein, Cell Nucleus, Chromatin, DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded, DNA Repair, DNA-Binding Proteins, Genomic Instability, Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors, Histones, Humans, Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins, Multiprotein Complexes, Nuclear Proteins, Phosphorylation, Protein Processing, Post-Translational, Trans-Activators, Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases, Ubiquitination

ID: 33747855