Indexed on: 16 Aug '11Published on: 16 Aug '11Published in: Molecular Genetics and Genomics
Maintenance of genome stability relies on the accurate repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) that arise during DNA replication or introduced by DNA-damaging agents. Failure to repair such breaks can lead to the introduction of mutations and chromosomal translocations. Several pathways, homologous recombination, single-strand annealing and nonhomologous end-joining, are known to repair DSBs. So far in the silkworm Bombyx mori, these repair pathways have been analyzed using extrachromosomal plasmids in vitro or in cultured cells. To elucidate the precise nature of the chromosomal DSB repair pathways in cultured silkworm cells, we developed a luciferase-based assay system for measuring the frequency of chromosomal homologous recombination and SSA. An I-SceI-induced DSB, within a nonfunctional luciferase gene, could be efficiently repaired by HR. Additionally, the continuous expression of the I-SceI endonuclease in the HR reporter cell allowed us to investigate the interrelationship between HR, SSA and NHEJ. In this study, we demonstrated that chromosome DSBs were mainly repaired by NHEJ and HR, whereas SSA was unlikely to be a dominant repair pathway in cultured silkworm cell. These results indicate that the assay system presented here will be useful to analyze the mechanisms of DSB repair in insect cells.