Alternative end-joining and classical nonhomologous end-joining pathways repair different types of double-strand breaks during class-switch recombination

Elena M. Cortizas, Astrid Zahn, Maurice E. Hajjar, Anne Marie Patenaude, Javier M. Di Noia, Ramiro E. Verdun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Classical nonhomologous end-joining (C-NHEJ) and alternative end-joining (A-EJ) are the main DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathways when a sister chromatid is not available. However, it is not clear how one pathway is chosen over the other to process a given DSB. To address this question, we studied in mouse splenic B cells and CH12F3 cells how C-NHEJ and A-EJ repair DSBs initiated by the activation-induced deaminase during IgH (Igh) class-switch recombination (CSR). We show in this study that lowering the deamination density at the Igh locus increases DSB resolution by microhomology-mediated repair while decreasing C-NHEJ activity. This process occurs without affecting 53BP1 and γH2AX levels during CSR. Mechanistically, lowering deamination density increases exonuclease I recruitment and single-stranded DNA at the Igh locus and promotes C-terminal binding protein interacting protein and MSH2-dependent DSB repair during CSR. Indeed, reducing activation-induced deaminase levels increases CSR efficiency in C-NHEJ-defective cells, suggesting enhanced use of an A-EJ pathway. Our results establish a mechanism by which C-NHEJ and this C-terminal binding protein interacting protein/MSH2-dependent pathway that relies on microhomology can act concurrently but independently to repair different types of DSBs and reveal that the density of DNA lesions influences the choice of DSB repair pathway during CSR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5751-5763
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume191
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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