Recent studies have shown that the SWI/SNF family of ATP-dependent chromatin-remodelling complexes play important roles in DNA repair as well as in transcription. The INO80 complex, the most recently described member of this family, has been shown in yeast to play direct role in DNA DSB (double-strand break) repair without affecting the expression of the genes involved in this process. However, whether this function of the INO80 complex is conserved in higher eukaryotes has not been investigated. In the present study, we found that knockdown of hINO80 (human INO80) confers DNA-damage hypersensitivity and inefficient DSB repair. Microarray analysis and other experiments have identified the Rad54B and XRCC3 (X-ray repair complementing defective repair in Chinese-hamster cells 3) genes, implicated in DSB repair, to be repressed by hINO80 deficiency. Chromatin immunoprecipitation studies have shown that hINO80 binds to the promoters of the Rad54B and XRCC3 genes. Re-expression of the Rad54B and XRCC3 genes rescues the DSB repair defect in hINO80-deficient cells. These results suggest that hINO80 assists DSB repair by positively regulating the expression of the Rad54B and XRCC3 genes. Therefore, unlike yeast INO80, hINO80 can contribute to DSB repair indirectly via gene expression, suggesting that the mechanistic role of this chromatin remodeller in DSB repair is evolutionarily diversified.

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