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Transcription-coupled DNA Double-Strand Breaks Are Mediated via the Nucleotide Excision Repair and the Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 Complex

By Josée Guirouilh-Barbat, Christophe Redon and Yves Pommier


The cellular activity of Yondelis (trabectedin, Ecteinascidin 743, Et743) is known to depend on transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair (TCR). However, the subsequent cellular effects of Et743 are not fully understood. Here we show that Et743 induces both transcription- and replication-coupled DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) that are detectible by neutral COMET assay and as γ-H2AX foci that colocalize with 53BP1, Mre11, Ser1981-pATM, and Thr68-pChk2. The transcription coupled-DSBs (TC-DSBs) induced by Et743 depended both on TCR and Mre11-Rad50-Nbs1 (MRN) and were associated with DNA-PK–dependent γ-H2AX foci. In contrast to DNA-PK, ATM phosphorylated H2AX both in NER-proficient and -deficient cells, but its full activation was dependent on H2AX as well as DNA-PK, suggesting a positive feedback loop: DNA-PK-γ-H2AX-ATM. Knocking-out H2AX or inactivating DNA-PK reduced Et743's antiproliferative activity, whereas ATM and MRN tended to act as survival factors. Our results highlight the interplays between ATM and DNA-PK and their impacts on H2AX phosphorylation and cell survival. They also suggest that γ-H2AX may serve as a biomarker in patients treated with Et743 and that molecular profiling of tumors for TCR, MRN, ATM, and DNA-PK might be useful to anticipate tumor response to Et743 treatment

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Publisher: The American Society for Cell Biology
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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