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Molecular and cellular biology

Molecular and biochemical characterization of xrs mutants defective in Ku80.


PMID 9032253

Abstract

The gene product defective in radiosensitive CHO mutants belonging to ionizing radiation complementation group 5, which includes the extensively studied xrs mutants, has recently been identified as Ku80, a subunit of the Ku protein and a component of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK). Several group 5 mutants, including xrs-5 and -6, lack double-stranded DNA end-binding and DNA-PK activities. In this study, we examined additional xrs mutants at the molecular and biochemical levels. All mutants examined have low or undetectable levels of Ku70 and Ku80 protein, end-binding, and DNA-PK activities. Only one mutant, xrs-6, has Ku80 transcript levels detectable by Northern hybridization, but Ku80 mRNA was detectable by reverse transcription-PCR in most other mutants. Two mutants, xrs-4 and -6, have altered Ku80 transcripts resulting from mutational changes in the genomic Ku80 sequence affecting RNA splicing, indicating that the defects in these mutants lie in the Ku80 gene rather than a gene controlling its expression. Neither of these two mutants has detectable wild-type Ku80 transcript. Since the mutation in both xrs-4 and xrs-6 cells results in severely truncated Ku80 protein, both are likely candidates to be null mutants. Azacytidine-induced revertants of xrs-4 and -6 carried both wild-type and mutant transcripts. The results with these revertants strongly support our model proposed earlier, that CHO-K1 cells carry a copy of the Ku80 gene (XRCC5) silenced by hypermethylation. Site-directed mutagenesis studies indicate that previously proposed ATP-binding and phosphorylation sites are not required for Ku80 activity, whereas N-terminal deletions of more than the first seven amino acids result in severe loss of activities.

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XrS6-hamKu80