Three-dimensional structure of the human DNA-PKcs/Ku70/Ku80 complex assembled on DNA and its implications for DNA DSB repair

Laura Spagnolo, Angel Rivera-Calzada, Laurence H Pearl, Oscar Llorca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

DNA-PKcs is a large (approximately 470 kDa) kinase that plays an essential role in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ). DNA-PKcs is recruited to DSBs by the Ku70/Ku80 heterodimer, with which it forms the core of a multiprotein complex that promotes synapsis of the broken DNA ends. We have purified the human DNA-PKcs/Ku70/Ku80 holoenzyme assembled on a DNA molecule. Its three-dimensional (3D) structure at approximately 25 Angstroms resolution was determined by single-particle electron microscopy. Binding of Ku and DNA elicits conformational changes in the FAT and FATC domains of DNA-PKcs. Dimeric particles are observed in which two DNA-PKcs/Ku70/Ku80 holoenzymes interact through the N-terminal HEAT repeats. The proximity of the dimer contacts to the likely positions of the DNA ends suggests that these represent synaptic complexes that maintain broken DNA ends in proximity and provide a platform for access of the various enzymes required for end processing and ligation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-9
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Cell
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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