Homologous recombination is triggered by nucleolytic degradation (resection) of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). DSB resection requires the Mre11-Rad50-Xrs2 (MRX) complex, which promotes the activity of Exo1 nuclease through a poorly understood mechanism. Here, we describe the Mre11-R10T mutant variant that accelerates DSB resection compared to wild-type Mre11 by potentiating Exo1-mediated processing. This increased Exo1 resection activity leads to a decreased association of the Ku complex to DSBs and an enhanced DSB resection in G1, indicating that Exo1 has a direct function in preventing Ku association with DSBs. Molecular dynamics simulations show that rotation of the Mre11 capping domains is able to induce unwinding of double-strand DNA (dsDNA). The R10T substitution causes altered orientation of the Mre11 capping domain that leads to persistent melting of the dsDNA end. We propose that MRX creates a specific DNA end structure that promotes Exo1 resection activity by facilitating the persistence of this nuclease on the DSB ends, uncovering a novel MRX function in DSB resection.
- double-strand break
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)