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DNA-binding properties of Smc6, a core component of the Smc5-6 DNA repair complex.

Roy MA, D'Amours D

Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer, Département de Pathologie et Biologie Cellulaire, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada.

The Smc5-6 complex is an essential regulator of chromosome integrity and a key component of the DNA damage response. As an essential DNA repair factor, the Smc5-6 complex is expected to interact with DNA and/or chromatin during the execution of its functions. How the Smc6 protein promotes the binding of the Smc5-6 complex to DNA lesions is currently unknown. We show here that Smc6 is a strong DNA-binding protein with a clear preference for single-stranded DNA substrates. Importantly, Smc6 associates with DNA in the absence of other Smc5-6 complex components and its activity is modulated by nucleotides. Our results also show that the minimal size of single-stranded DNA required for tight association with Smc6 is ~60 nucleotides in length. Taken together, our results suggest that Smc6 contributes to DNA repair in vivo by targeting the Smc5-6 complex to single-stranded DNA substrates created during the processes of homologous recombination and/or DNA replication.

Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2011;416(1-2):80-5.

Pubmed ID: 22086171

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