The homologous recombination (HR) repair pathway maintains genetic integrity after DNA double-strand break (DSB) damage and is particularly crucial for maintaining fidelity of expressed genes. Histone H4 acetylation on lysine 16 (H4K16ac) is associated with transcription, but how pre-existing H4K16ac directly affects DSB repair is not known. To answer this question, we used CRISPR/Cas9 technology to introduce I-SceI sites, or repair pathway reporter cassettes, at defined locations within gene-rich (high H4K16ac/euchromatin) and gene-poor (low H4K16ac/heterochromatin) regions. The frequency of DSB repair by HR is higher in gene-rich regions. Interestingly, artificially targeting H4K16ac at specific locations using gRNA/dCas9-MOF increases HR frequency in euchromatin. Finally, inhibition/depletion of RNA polymerase II or Cockayne syndrome B protein leads to decreased recruitment of HR factors at DSBs. These results indicate that the pre-existing H4K16ac status at specific locations directly influences the repair of local DNA breaks, favoring HR in part through the transcription machinery.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)