In mammalian cells, the mediator protein, 53BP1, exerts distinct impacts on the repair of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) depending on the setting, for example whether the DSBs arise at telomeres or during replication or class switch recombination. Here, we focus on two roles of 53BP1 in response to ionising radiation (IR)-induced DSBs (IR-DSBs). Canonical DNA non-homologous end-joining (c-NHEJ) is the major DSB repair pathway with homologous recombination (HR) contributing to DSB repair in S/G2 phase. ATM signalling promotes histone modifications and protein assembly in the DSB vicinity, which can be visualised as irradiation induced foci (IRIF). 53BP1 assembles at DSBs in a complex manner involving the formation of nano-domains. In G1 and G2 phase, X- or gamma-ray induced DSBs are repaired with biphasic kinetics. 70–80 % of DSBs are repaired with fast kinetics in both cell cycle phases by c-NHEJ; the remaining DSBs are repaired with slower kinetics in G2 phase via HR and in G1 by a specialised form of c-NHEJ termed Artemis and resection-dependent c-NHEJ, due to a specific requirement for the nuclease, Artemis and resection factors. 53BP1 is essential for the repair of DSBs rejoined with slow kinetics in G1 and G2 phase. This 53BP1 function requires its tandem BRCT domain and interaction with NBS1. As a distinct function, 53BP1 suppresses resection during both HR and Artemis and resection-dependent c-NHEJ. This latter role requires RIF1 and is counteracted by BRCA1. 53BP1 appears to be dispensable for the rejoining of the fast c-NHEJ repair process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas