Affinity maturation of antibodies requires a unique process of targeted mutation that allows changes to accumulate in the antibody genes while the rest of the genome is protected from off-target mutations that can be oncogenic. This targeting requires that the same deamination event be repaired either by a mutagenic or a high-fidelity pathway depending on the genomic location. We have previously shown that the BRCT domain of the DNA-damage sensor PARP-1 is required for mutagenic repair occurring in the context of IgH and IgL diversification in the chicken B cell line DT40. Here we show that immunoprecipitation of the BRCT domain of PARP-1 pulls down Ku70 and the DNA-PK complex although the BRCT domain of PARP-1 does not bind DNA, suggesting that this interaction is not DNA dependent. Through sequencing the IgL variable region in PARP-1(-/-) cells that also lack Ku70 or Lig4, we show that Ku70 or Lig4 deficiency restores GCV to PARP-1(-/-) cells and conclude that the mechanism by which PARP-1 is promoting mutagenic repair is by inhibiting high-fidelity repair which would otherwise be mediated by Ku70 and Lig4.
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