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

Non-homologous end joining, but not homologous recombination, enables survival for cells exposed to a histone deacetylase inhibitor.

on-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR) are pathways that repair DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the repair of these breaks is influenced by histone acetylation. Therefore, we tested mammalian cells deleted for NHEJ ( Ku80 or DNA Ligase IV) or altered for HR (breast cancer associated gene, Brca2, or Bloom's syndrome, Blm) for sensitivity to trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor that is being investigated as an anti-cancer therapeutic. We show that cells mutated for Ku80 ( ku80-/-) or DNA Ligase IV (lig 4-/-), but not cells mutated for Brca2 (brca2lex1/lex2) or Blm (blm(tm3Brd/tm4Brd)), are hypersensitive to TSA in a dose-dependent manner. TSA-induced toxicity stimulates apoptosis and cell cycle checkpoint responses independent of p53, but does not increase phosphorylated histone H2AX (-H2AX) as compared with a clastogenic agent, camptothecin, indicating that the quantity of DSBs is not the primary cause of TSA-induced cell death. In addition, we show that potential anti-cancer drugs (LY-294002 and vanillin) that inhibit the family of phosphatidylinositol 3 kinases that include the NHEJ protein, DNA-PKCS act in synergy with TSA to reduce the viability of HeLa cells in tissue culture presenting the possibility of using the two drugs in combination to treat cancer.[1]


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