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"Ku binds telomeric DNA in vitro."

Bianchi A, de Lange T



Published July 23, 1999 in J Biol Chem volume 274 .

Pubmed ID: 10409678

Abstract:
Ku is a heterodimeric protein with high binding affinity for ends, nicks, and gaps in double-stranded DNA. Both in mammalian cells and in budding yeast, Ku plays a role in nonhomologous end joining in the double strand break repair pathway. However, Ku has a more significant role in DNA repair in mammalian cells compared with yeast, in which a homology-dependent pathway is the predominant one. Recently Ku has been shown to be a likely component of the telomeric complex in yeast, suggesting the possibility of a similar role for Ku at mammalian telomeres. However, long single-stranded G-rich overhangs are continuously present at mammalian but not at yeast telomeres. These overhangs have the potential to fold in vitro into G-G base-paired conformations, such as G-quartets, that might prevent Ku from recognizing telomeric ends and thus offer a mechanism to sequester the telomere from the prevalent double strand break repair pathway in mammals. We show here that Ku binds to mammalian telomeric DNA ends in vitro and that G-quartet conformations are unable to prevent Ku from binding with high affinity to the DNA. Our results indicate that the DNA binding characteristics of Ku are consistent with its direct interaction with telomeric DNA in mammalian cells and its proposed role as a telomere end factor.


This publication refers to following REPAIRtoire entries:

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Last modification of this entry: Oct. 6, 2010

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