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Formation of higher-order nuclear Rad51 structures is functionally linked to p21 expression and protection from DNA damage-induced apoptosis

MPS-Authors

Raderschall,  Elke
Max Planck Society;

Lurz,  Rudi
Max Planck Society;

Smith,  Avril
Max Planck Society;

Mann,  Wolfgang
Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons50501

Ropers,  Hans Hilger
Dept. of Human Molecular Genetics (Head: Hans-Hilger Ropers), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons50182

Haaf,  Thomas
Dept. of Human Molecular Genetics (Head: Hans-Hilger Ropers), Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Raderschall, E., Bazarov, A., Cao, J., Lurz, R., Smith, A., Mann, W., et al. (2002). Formation of higher-order nuclear Rad51 structures is functionally linked to p21 expression and protection from DNA damage-induced apoptosis. Journal of Cell Science, 115(1), 153-164.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-8C82-7
Abstract
After exposure of mammalian cells to DNA damage, the endogenous Rad51 recombination protein is concentrated in multiple discrete foci, which are thought to represent nuclear domains for recombinational DNA repair. Overexpressed Rad51 protein forms foci and higher-order nuclear structures, even in the absence of DNA damage, in cells that do not undergo DNA replication synthesis. This correlates with increased expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) inhibitor p21. Following DNA damage, constitutively Rad51-overexpressing cells show reduced numbers of DNA breaks and chromatid-type chromosome aberrations and a greater resistance to apoptosis. In contrast, Rad51 antisense inhibition reduces p21 protein levels and sensitizes cells to etoposide treatment. Downregulation of p21 inhibits Rad51 foci formation in both normal and Rad51-overexpressing cells. Collectively, our results show that Rad51 expression, Rad51 foci formation and p21 expression are interrelated, suggesting a functional link between mammalian Rad51 protein and p21-mediated cell cycle regulation. This mechanism may contribute to a highly effective recombinational DNA repair in cell cycle-arrested cells and protection against DNA damage-induced apoptosis.