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

Involvement of KU80 in T-DNA integration in plant cells.

In Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation of plant cells, the bacterium exports a well defined transferred DNA (T-DNA) fragment and a series of virulence proteins into the host cell. Following its nuclear import, the single-stranded T-DNA is stripped of its escorting proteins, most likely converts to a double-stranded (ds) form, and integrates into the host genome. Little is known about the precise mechanism of T-DNA integration in plants, and no plant proteins specifically associated to T-DNA have been identified. Here we report the direct involvement of KU80, a protein that binds dsT-DNA intermediates. We show that ku80-mutant Arabidopsis plants are defective in T-DNA integration in somatic cells, whereas KU80-overexpressing plants exhibit increased susceptibility to Agrobacterium infection and increased resistance to DNA-damaging agents. The direct interaction between dsT-DNA molecules and KU80 in planta was confirmed by immunoprecipitation of KU80 dsT-DNA complexes from Agrobacterium-infected plants. Transformation of KU80-overexpressing plants with two separate T-DNA molecules resulted in an increased rate of extrachromosomal T-DNA to T-DNA recombination, indicating that KU80 bridges between dsT-DNAs and double-strand breaks. This last result further supports the notion that integration of T-DNA molecules occurs through ds intermediates and requires active participation of the host's nonhomologous end-joining repair machinery.[1]


  1. Involvement of KU80 in T-DNA integration in plant cells. Li, J., Vaidya, M., White, C., Vainstein, A., Citovsky, V., Tzfira, T. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2005) [Pubmed]
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