Artemis is an endonuclease that opens coding hairpin ends during V(D)J recombination and has critical roles in postirradiation cell survival. A direct role for the C-terminal region of Artemis in V(D)J recombination has not been defined, despite the presence of immunodeficiency and lymphoma development in patients with deletions in this region. Here, we report that the Artemis C-terminal region directly interacts with the DNA-binding domain of Ligase IV, a DNA Ligase which plays essential roles in DNA repair and V(D)J recombination. The Artemis-Ligase IV interaction is specific and occurs independently of the presence of DNA and DNA-protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs), another protein known to interact with the Artemis C-terminal region. Point mutations in Artemis that disrupt its interaction with Ligase IV or DNA-PKcs reduce V(D)J recombination, and Artemis mutations that affect interactions with Ligase IV and DNA-PKcs show additive detrimental effects on coding joint formation. Signal joint formation remains unaffected. Our data reveal that the C-terminal region of Artemis influences V(D)J recombination through its interaction with both Ligase IV and DNA-PKcs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy