Recruitment kinetics of the homologous recombination pathway in procyclic forms of Trypanosoma brucei after ionizing radiation treatment

One of the most important mechanisms for repairing double-strand breaks (DSBs) in model eukaryotes is homologous recombination (HR). Although the genes involved in HR have been found in Trypanosoma brucei and studies have identified some of the proteins that participate in this HR pathway, the recruitment kinetics of the HR machinery onto DNA during DSB repair have not been clearly elucidated in this organism. Using immunofluorescence, protein DNA-bound assays, and DNA content analysis, we established the recruitment kinetics of the HR pathway in response to the DSBs generated by ionizing radiation (IR) in procyclic forms of T. brucei. These kinetics involved the phosphorylation of histone H2A and the sequential recruitment of the essential HR players Exo1, RPA, and Rad51. The process of DSB repair took approximately 5.5 hours. We found that DSBs led to a decline in the G2/M phase after IR treatment, concomitant with cell cycle arrest in the G1/S phase. This finding suggests that HR repairs DSBs faster than the other possible DSB repair processes that act during the G1/S transition. Taken together, these data suggest that the interplay between DNA damage detection and HR machinery recruitment is finely coordinated, allowing these parasites to repair DNA rapidly after DSBs during the late S/G2 proficient phases.

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Marin PA, Silva MS, Pavani RS, Machado CR, Elias MC. Recruitment kinetics of the homologous recombination pathway in procyclic forms of Trypanosoma brucei after ionizing radiation treatment. Sci Rep. 2018 Mar;8:5405. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-23731-6.
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