The radioresistance kinase TLK1B protects the cells by promoting repair of double strand breaks

Gulshan Sunavala-Dossabhoy, Sri Kripa Balakrishnan, Siddhartha Sen, Sam Nuthalapaty, Arrigo De Benedetti

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36 Scopus citations


Background: The mammalian protein kinase TLK1 is a homologue of Tousled, a gene involved in flower development in Arabidopsis thaliana. The function of TLK1 is not well known, although knockout of the gene in Drosophila or expression of a dominant negative mutant in mouse cells causes loss of nuclear divisions and missegregation of chromosomes probably, due to alterations in chromatin remodeling capacity. Overexpression of TLK1B, a spliced variant of the TLK1 mRNA, in a model mouse cell line increases their resistance to ionizing radiation (IR) or the radiomimetic drug doxorubicin, also likely due to changes in chromatin remodeling. TLK1B is translationally regulated by the availability of the translation factor eIF4E, and its synthesis is activated by IR. The reason for this mechanism of regulation is likely to provide a rapid means of promoting repair of DSBs. TLK1B specifically phosphorylates histone H3 and Asf1, likely resulting in changes in chromatin structure, particularly at double strand breaks (DSB) sites. Results: In this work, we provide several lines of evidence that TLK1B protects the cells from IR by facilitating the repair of DSBs. First, the pattern of phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of H2AX and H3 indicated that cells overexpressing TLK1B return to pre-IR steady state much more rapidly than controls. Second, the repair of episomes damaged with DSBs was much more rapid in cells overexpressing TLK1B. This was also true for repair of genomic damage. Lastly, we demonstrate with an in vitro repair system that the addition of recombinant TLK1B promotes repair of a linearized plasmid incubated with nuclear extract. In addition, TLK1B in this in vitro system promotes the assembly of chromatin as shown by the formation of more highly supercoiled topomers of the plasmid. Conclusions: In this work, we provide evidence that TLK1B promotes the repair of DSBs, likely as a consequence of a change in chromatin remodeling capacity that must precede the assembly of repair complexes at the sites of damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalBMC Molecular Biology
StatePublished - Sep 12 2005
Externally publishedYes


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