The fidelity of double strand breaks processing is impaired in complementation groups B and D of Fanconi anemia, a genetic instability syndrome

Somat Cell Mol Genet. 1997 Nov;23(6):401-11. doi: 10.1007/BF02673750.


In mammalian cells, nonhomologous end-joining is the predominant mechanism to eliminate DNA double strand breaks. Such events are at the origin of deletion mutagenesis and chromosomal rearrangements. The hallmark of Fanconi anemia, an inherited cancer prone disorder, is increased chromosomal breakage associated to over-production of deletions. Knowing that double strand breaks are at the origin of deletion mutagenesis, the question arises whether their processing is affected in FA. We set up a "host cell end-joining assay" to analyze the fate of double strand breaks into extrachromosomal substrates transiently replicated in normal and FA-D lymphoblasts. Although no difference in plasmid survival was found, blunt-ended breaks were sealed with significantly lower fidelity in FA cells, resulting in a higher deletion frequency and a larger deletion size. The results suggest that FA-D and FA-B gene products are likely to play a role in end-joining fidelity of specific DNA double strand breaks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Breakage*
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair*
  • Fanconi Anemia / genetics*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Humans
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Syndrome