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PublicationThe Rag2 C Terminus Participates in Repair Pathway Choice in Vivo and Suppresses Lymphomagenesis(2014-01-01) Gigi, VeredTHE RAG2 C TERMINUS PARTICIPATES IN REPAIR PATHWAY CHOICE IN VIVO AND SUPPRESSES LYMPHOMAGENESIS Vered Gigi Dr. David B Roth DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs) can be repaired by several mechanisms, including classical NHEJ (c-NHEJ) and a poorly defined, error-prone process termed alternative NHEJ (a-NHEJ). How cells choose between these alternatives to join physiologic DSBs remains unknown. Here we show that deletion of RAG2's C-terminus allows a-NHEJ to repair RAG-mediated DSBs in developing lymphocytes from both c-NHEJ-proficient and c-NHEJ-deficient mice, demonstrating that the V(D)J recombinase influences repair pathway choice in vivo. Analysis of V(D)J junctions revealed that, contrary to expectation, junctional characteristics alone do not reliably distinguish between a-NHEJ and c-NHEJ. These data suggest that a-NHEJ is not necessarily mutagenic, and may be more prevalent than previously appreciated. Whole genome sequencing of lymphomas arising in a p53-/- mouse bearing a C terminal RAG2 truncation reveals evidence of a-NHEJ and also of aberrant recognition of DNA sequences resembling RAG recognition sites. The ability to recognize these sites is not because of specificity relaxation due to the lack of the RAG2 C terminus but probably other potential mechanisms that should be further investigated.