DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair via homologous recombination is initiated by end resection. The extent of DNA end resection determines the choice of the DSB repair pathway. Nucleases for end resection have been extensively studied. However, it is still unclear how the potential DNA structures generated by the initial short resection by MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 are recognized and recruit proteins, such as EXO1, to DSB sites to facilitate long-range resection. We found that the MSH2-MSH3 mismatch repair complex is recruited to DSB sites through interaction with the chromatin remodeling protein SMARCAD1. MSH2-MSH3 facilitates the recruitment of EXO1 for long-range resection and enhances its enzymatic activity. MSH2-MSH3 also inhibits access of POLθ, which promotes polymerase theta-mediated end-joining (TMEJ). Collectively, we present a direct role of MSH2-MSH3 in the initial stages of DSB repair by promoting end resection and influencing the DSB repair pathway by favoring homologous recombination over TMEJ.
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.