In mammalian cells, classical non-homologous end joining (c-NHEJ) is critical for DNA double-strand break repair induced by ionizing radiation and during V(D)J recombination in developing B and T lymphocytes. Recently, PAXX was identified as a c-NHEJ core component. We report here that PAXX-deficient cells exhibit a cellular phenotype uncharacteristic of a deficiency in c-NHEJ core components. PAXX-deficient cells display normal sensitivity to radiomimetic drugs, are proficient in transient V(D)J recombination assays, and do not shift toward higher micro-homology usage in plasmid repair assays. Although PAXX-deficient cells lack c-NHEJ phenotypes, PAXX forms a stable ternary complex with Ku bound to DNA. Formation of this complex involves an interaction with Ku70 and requires a bare DNA extension for stability. Moreover, the relatively weak Ku-dependent stimulation of LIG4/XRCC4 activity by PAXX is unmasked by XLF ablation. Thus, PAXX plays an accessory role during c-NHEJ that is largely overlapped by XLF's function.
Keywords: DNA double-strand break repair; DNA ligase 4; Ku; Ku70; MMEJ; NHEJ; PAXX; V(D)J recombination; XLF; XRCC4.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.