Depletion of Werner helicase results in mitotic hyperrecombination and pleiotropic homologous and nonhomologous recombination phenotypes

  • Rahn J
  • Lowery M
  • Della-Coletta L
 et al. 
  • 11


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 5


    Citations of this article.


Werner syndrome (WS) is a rare, segmental progeroid syndrome caused by defects in the WRN gene, which encodes a RecQ helicase. WRN has roles in many aspects of DNA metabolism including DNA repair and recombination. In this study, we exploited two different recombination assays previously used to describe a role for the structure-specific endonuclease ERCC1-XPF in mitotic and targeted homologous recombination. We constructed Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines isogenic with the cell lines used in these previous studies by depleting WRN using shRNA vectors. When intrachromosomal, mitotic recombination was assayed in WRN-depleted CHO cells, a hyperrecombination phenotype was observed, and a small number of aberrant recombinants were generated. Targeted homologous recombination was also examined in WRN-depleted CHO cells using a plasmid-chromosome targeting assay. In these experiments, loss of WRN resulted in a significant decrease in nonhomologous integration events and ablation of recombinants that required random integration of the corrected targeting vector. Aberrant recombinants were also recovered, but only from WRN-depleted cells. The pleiotropic recombination phenotypes conferred by WRN depletion, reflected in distinct homologous and nonhomologous recombination pathways, suggest a role for WRN in processing specific types of homologous recombination intermediates as well as an important function in nonhomologous recombination. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • ERCC1
  • Homologous and nonhomologous recombination
  • Werner syndrome

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Jennifer J. Rahn

  • Megan P. Lowery

  • Luis Della-Coletta

  • Gerald M. Adair

  • Rodney S. Nairn

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free