Identification of an XRCC1 DNA binding activity essential for retention at sites of DNA damage
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Repair of two major forms of DNA damage, single strand breaks and base modifications, are dependent on XRCC1. XRCC1 orchestrates these repair processes by temporally and spatially coordinating interactions between several other repair proteins. Here we show that XRCC1 contains a central DNA binding domain (CDB, residues 219-415) encompassing its first BRCT domain. In contrast to the N-terminal domain of XRCC1, which has been reported to mediate damage sensing in vitro, we demonstrate that the DNA binding module identified here lacks binding specificity towards DNA containing nicks or gaps. Alanine substitution of residues within the CDB of XRCC1 disrupt DNA binding in vitro and lead to a significant reduction in XRCC1 retention at DNA damage sites without affecting initial recruitment. Interestingly, reduced retention at sites of DNA damage is associated with an increased rate of repair. These findings suggest that DNA binding activity of XRCC1 plays a significant role in retention at sites of damage and the rate at which damage is repaired.
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