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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. The primary pathways for DNA double strand break (DSB) repair are homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end–joining (NHEJ). The choice between HR and NHEJ is influenced by the extent of DNA end resection, as extensive resection is required for HR but repressive to NHEJ. Conversely, association of the DNA end-binding protein Ku, which is integral to classical NHEJ, inhibits resection. In absence of key NHEJ components, a third repair pathway is exposed; this alternative-end joining (A-EJ) is a highly error-prone process that uses micro-homologies at the breakpoints and is initiated by DNA end resection. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the high mobility group protein Hmo1p has been implicated in controlling DNA end resection, suggesting its potential role in repair pathway choice. Using a plasmid end-joining assay, we show here that absence of Hmo1p results in reduced repair efficiency and accuracy, indicating that Hmo1p promotes end-joining; this effect is only observed on DNA with protruding ends. Notably, inhibition of DNA end resection in an hmo1Δ strain restores repair efficiency to the levels observed in wild-type cells. In absence of Ku, HMO1 deletion also reduces repair efficiency further, while inhibition of resection restores repair efficiency to the levels observed in kuΔ. We suggest that Hmo1p functions to control DNA end resection, thereby preventing error-prone A-EJ repair and directing repairs towards classical NHEJ. The very low efficiency of DSB repair in kuΔhmo1Δ cells further suggests that excessive DNA resection is inhibitory for A-EJ.

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DNA Repair

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