Werner Syndrome Protein Is Regulated and Phosphorylated by DNA-dependent Protein Kinase

Steven M. Yannone, Sashwati Roy, Doug W. Chan, Michael B. Murphy, Shurong Huang, Judith Campisi, David J. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are a highly mutagenic and potentially lethal damage that occurs in all organisms. Mammalian cells repair DSBs by homologous recombination and non-homologous end joining, the latter requiring DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK). Werner syndrome is a disorder characterized by genomic instability, aging pathologies and defective WRN, a RecQ-like helicase with exonuclease activity. We show that WRN interacts directly with the catalytic subunit of DNA-PK (DNA-PKCS), which inhibits both the helicase and exonuclease activities of WRN. In addition we show that WRN forms a stable complex on DNA with DNA-PKCS and the DNA binding subunit Ku. This assembly reverses WRN enzymatic inhibition. Finally, we show that WRN is phosphorylated in vitro by DNA-PK and requires DNA-PK for phosphorylation in vivo, and that cells deficient in WRN are mildly sensitive to ionizing radiation. These data suggest that DNA-PK and WRN may function together in DNA metabolism and implicate WRN function in non-homologous end joining.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38242-38248
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number41
StatePublished - Oct 12 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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