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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32856

Title: Analysis of Telomere Healing of DNA Double-strand Breaks
Authors: Zhang, Wei
Advisor: Durocher, Daniel
Department: Molecular and Medical Genetics
Keywords: yeast
DNA repair
Issue Date: 31-Aug-2012
Abstract: DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are a threat to cell survival and genome integrity. In addition to canonical DNA repair systems, DSBs can be converted to telomeres by telomerase. This process, herein termed telomere healing, endangers genome stability since it usually results in chromosome arm loss. Therefore, cells possess mechanisms that prevent the untimely action of telomerase on DSBs. In this work, I reported the completion of a transposon mutagenesis screen in budding yeast and the identification of five novel genes (RRD1, CIK1, CTF18, RTS1, and IRC6) critical for telomere healing. The characterization of Rrd1 led to the surprising finding that Rrd1 facilitates telomere healing at DSBs with little or no TG-rich sequences but not at DSBs with long tracts of telomeric sequences. Pph3, a PP4 phosphatase, acts in conjunction with Rrd1 to promote telomere healing. Conversely, Mec1, the ATR ortholog, phosphorylates Cdc13 on its S306 residue to suppress its accumulation at DSBs. Rrd1 and Pph3 oppose Cdc13 S306 phosphorylation and are necessary for the efficient accumulation of Cdc13 at DSBs. Next, I found that Cik1 and its kinesin partner Kar3 are both important for telomere healing. Importantly, Kar3 contributes to telomere healing through its motor function. In contrast to Rrd1, Kar3 contributes to telomere healing regardless of telomeric sequence lengths adjacent to the break. Finally, Cik1 and Kar3 have a general role in DNA repair and physically associate with DSBs, which is dependent on the process of anchoring DSBs to nuclear periphery. In conclusion, I identified a mechanism by which the ATR family of kinases enforces genome integrity, a phosphoregulatory loop that underscores the contribution of Cdc13 to the fate of DNA ends, and a kinesin complex critical for the spatial organization of DNA repair.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/32856
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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