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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The Mre11 complex is required for ATM activation and the G2/M checkpoint.

The maintenance of genome integrity requires a rapid and specific response to many types of DNA damage. The conserved and related PI3-like protein kinases, ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and ATM-Rad3-related (ATR), orchestrate signal transduction pathways in response to genomic insults, such as DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). It is unclear which proteins recognize DSBs and activate these pathways, but the Mre11/Rad50/NBS1 complex has been suggested to act as a damage sensor. Here we show that infection with an adenovirus lacking the E4 region also induces a cellular DNA damage response, with activation of ATM and ATR. Wild-type virus blocks this signaling through degradation of the Mre11 complex by the viral E1b55K/E4orf6 proteins. Using these viral proteins, we show that the Mre11 complex is required for both ATM activation and the ATM-dependent G(2)/M checkpoint in response to DSBs. These results demonstrate that the Mre11 complex can function as a damage sensor upstream of ATM/ATR signaling in mammalian cells.[1]


  1. The Mre11 complex is required for ATM activation and the G2/M checkpoint. Carson, C.T., Schwartz, R.A., Stracker, T.H., Lilley, C.E., Lee, D.V., Weitzman, M.D. EMBO J. (2003) [Pubmed]
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