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ZNF281 is recruited on DNA breaks to facilitate DNA repair by non-homologous end joining

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Abstract: Efficient repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) is of critical importance for cell survival. Although non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) is the most used DSBs repair pathway in the cells, how NHEJ factors are sequentially recruited to damaged chromatin remains unclear. Here, we identify a novel role for the zinc-finger protein ZNF281 in participating in the ordered recruitment of the NHEJ repair factor XRCC4 at damage sites. ZNF281 is recruited to DNA lesions within seconds after DNA damage through a mechanism dependent on its DNA binding domain and, at least in part, on poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) activity. ZNF281 binds XRCC4 through its zinc-finger domain and facilitates its recruitment to damaged sites. Consequently, depletion of ZNF281 impairs the efficiency of the NHEJ repair pathway and decreases cell viability upon DNA damage. Survival analyses from datasets of commonly occurring human cancers show that higher levels of ZNF281 correlate with poor prognosis of patients treated with DNA-damaging therapies. Thus, our results define a late ZNF281-dependent regulatory step of NHEJ complex assembly at DNA lesions and suggest additional possibilities for cancer patients’ stratification and for the development of personalised therapeutic strategies.



Article, /631/67/1059, /631/337/1427/2191, /14/35, /13/1, /13/31, /13/89, /13/109, /38/77, /14, /14/63, article

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Nature Publishing Group UK