Editors' ChoiceDNA Repair

Uncrossing covalently linked DNA strands

Sci. Signal.  05 May 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 375, pp. ec119
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aac4782

DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs) covalently link the two strands of the double helix. ICL mutations are difficult to repair, because the two DNA strands cannot be separated and so one strand cannot be used as a template to repair the other. Räschle et al. developed a mass spectrometry–based method to systematically analyze a time series of all the proteins recruited to repair ICLs in Xenopus egg extracts. In addition to identifying many of the known factors required for ICL repair, they also found a number of new factors, two of which define a new repair pathway for ICL mutations.

M. Räschle, G. Smeenk, R. K. Hansen, T. Temu, Y. Oka, M. Y. Hein, N. Nagaraj, D. T. Long, J. C. Walter, K. Hofmann, Z. Storchova, J. Cox, S. Bekker-Jensen, N. Mailand, M. Mann, Proteomics reveals dynamic assembly of repair complexes during bypass of DNA cross-links. Science 348, 1253671 (2015).[Abstract] [Full Text]