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Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) regulates the DNA damage response as well as DNA double-strand break repair through homologous recombination. Here we show that ATM is hyperactive when the catalytic subunit of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PKcs) is chemically inhibited or when the DNA-PKcs gene is deleted in human cells. Pre-incubation of ATM protein with active DNA-PKcs also significantly reduces ATM activity in vitro. We characterize several phosphorylation sites in ATM that are targets of DNA-PKcs and show that phospho-mimetic mutations at these residues significantly inhibit ATM activity and impair ATM signaling upon DNA damage. In contrast, phospho-blocking mutations at one cluster of sites increase the frequency of apoptosis during normal cell growth. DNA-PKcs, which is integral to the non-homologous end joining pathway, thus negatively regulates ATM activity through phosphorylation of ATM. These observations illuminate an important regulatory mechanism for ATM that also controls DNA repair pathway choice. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Yi Zhou, Ji-Hoon Lee, Wenxia Jiang, Jennie L Crowe, Shan Zha, Tanya T Paull. Regulation of the DNA Damage Response by DNA-PKcs Inhibitory Phosphorylation of ATM. Molecular cell. 2017 Jan 05;65(1):91-104

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PMID: 27939942

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