• Influence of DNA Ends on Structure and Function of the DNA-dependent Protein Kinase

      Jovanovic, Marko; Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics (2006-12)
      Non-homologous end joining is a major DNA double-strand break repair pathway in mammalian cells. The DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), consisting of the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) and Ku heterodimer, is hypothesized to be a key regulator of the pathway. Available data suggest DNA-PKcs may exert this regulatory function by controlling access to the DNA termini and by phosphorylation of itself and other proteins. I further characterized DNA-PK-DNA interaction by studying binding of DNA-PKcs and Ku to oligonucleotides with chemically defined end structures under conditions that preclude synapsis between opposing DNA ends. Binding of DNA-PKcs to DNA varied with the end structure in a manner that suggests that partial melting of DNA ends is necessary for the formation of a stable, enzymatically active complex. Unexpectedly, these studies also revealed that ATP, as well as its nonhydrolyzable analog AMP-PNP, have an allosteric effect on the interaction of DNA-PKcs with DNA.