SNM-dependent recombinational repair of oxidatively induced DNA damage in Arabidopsis thaliana



Two different roles for SNM (sensitive to nitrogen mustard) proteins have already been described: the SNM1/PSO2-related proteins are involved in the repair of the interstrand crosslink (ICL) and the ARTEMIS proteins are involved in the V(D)J recombination process. Our study shows that an Arabidopsis SNM protein, although structurally closer to the SNM1/PSO2 members, shares some properties with ARTEMIS but also has novel characteristics. Arabidopsis plants defective for the expression of AtSNM1 did not show hypersensitivity to the ICL-forming agents but to the chemotherapeutic agent bleomycin and to H2O2. AtSNM1 mutant plants are delayed in the repair of oxidative damage and did not show enhancement of the frequency of somatic homologous recombination on exposure to H2O2 and to the bacterial elicitor flagellin, both inducing oxidative stress, as observed in the control plants. Therefore, our results suggest the existence, in plants, of a novel SNM-dependent recombinational repair process of oxidatively induced DNA damage.