Human SMC5/6 complex promotes sister chromatid homologous recombination by recruiting the SMC1/3 cohesin complex to double-strand breaks

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The structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) family of proteins has been implicated in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by homologous recombination (HR). The SMC1/3 cohesin complex is thought to promote HR by maintaining the close proximity of sister chromatids at DSBs. The SMC5/6 complex is also required for DNA repair, but the mechanism by which it accomplishes this is unclear. Here, we show that RNAi-mediated knockdown of the SMC5/6 complex components in human cells increases the efficiency of gene targeting due to a specific requirement for hSMC5/6 in sister chromatid HR. Knockdown of the hSMC5/6 complex decreases sister chromatid HR, but does not reduce nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) or intra-chromatid, homologue, or extrachromosomal HR. The hSMC5/6 complex is itself recruited to nuclease-induced DSBs and is required for the recruitment of cohesin to DSBs. Our results establish a mechanism by which the hSMC5/6 complex promotes DNA repair and suggest a novel strategy to improve the efficiency of gene targeting in mammalian somatic cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3377-3388
Number of pages12
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 26 2006



  • DNA repair
  • Gene targeting
  • MMS21
  • Sister chromatid cohesion
  • SMC6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology

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