Distinctive nuclear zone for RAD51-mediated homologous recombinational DNA repair.


Genome-based functions are inseparable from the dynamic higher-order architecture of the cell nucleus. In this context, the repair of DNA damage is coordinated by precise spatiotemporal controls that target and regulate the repair machinery required to maintain genome integrity. However, the mechanisms that pair damaged DNA with intact template for repair by homologous recombination (HR) without illegitimate recombination remain unclear. This report highlights the intimate relationship between nuclear architecture and HR in mammalian cells. RAD51, the key recombinase of HR, forms spherical foci in S/G2 phases spontaneously. Using super-resolution microscopy, we show that following induction of DNA double-strand breaks RAD51 foci at damaged sites elongate to bridge between intact and damaged sister chromatids; this assembly occurs within bundle-shaped distinctive nuclear zones, requires interactions of RAD51 with various factors, and precedes ATP-dependent events involved the recombination of intact and damaged DNA. We observed a time-dependent transfer of single-stranded DNA overhangs, generated during HR, into such zones. Our observations suggest that RAD51-mediated homologous pairing during HR takes place within the distinctive nuclear zones to execute appropriate recombination.

bioRxiv (2021)