Roles of ATM and NBS1 in chromatin structure modulation and DNA double-strand break repair

Nat Cell Biol. 2007 Jun;9(6):683-90. doi: 10.1038/ncb1599. Epub 2007 May 7.


We developed a novel system to create DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) at defined endogenous sites in the human genome, and used this system to detect protein recruitment and loss at and around these breaks by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP). The detection of human ATM protein at site-specific DSBs required functional NBS1 protein, ATM kinase activity and ATM autophosphorylation on Ser 1981. DSB formation led to the localized disruption of nucleosomes, a process that depended on both functional NBS1 and ATM. These two proteins were also required for efficient recruitment of the repair cofactor XRCC4 to DSBs, and for efficient DSB repair. These results demonstrate the functional importance of ATM kinase activity and phosphorylation in the response to DSBs, and support a model in which ordered chromatin structure changes that occur after DNA breakage depend on functional NBS1 and ATM, and facilitate DNA DSB repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • DNA / genetics*
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded*
  • DNA Repair / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology*
  • Nucleosomes / genetics
  • Nucleosomes / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / physiology*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromatin
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • NBN protein, human
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Nucleosomes
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • XRCC4 protein, human
  • DNA
  • ATM protein, human
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases