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SMCHD1 is a structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) family protein involved in epigenetic gene silencing and chromosome organisation on the female inactive X chromosome and at a limited number of autosomal loci. Here, we demonstrate that SMCHD1 also has a role in DNA repair of double-strand breaks; SMCHD1 is recruited to sites of laser micro-irradiated damage along with other DNA repair factors, including Ku80 (also known as XRCC5 in mammals) and RAD51. Cells deficient in SMCHD1 show evidence of decreased efficiency of repair and cell viability after DNA damage. We suggest that SMCHD1 responds to DNA double-strand breaks in a manner that is likely to involve its ability to alter chromatin states to facilitate DNA repair.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cell Sci

Publication Date





1869 - 1874


DNA repair, Double-strand breaks, SMC, SMCHD1, Structural maintenance of chromosomes, Cell Line, Cell Survival, Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone, DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded, DNA Damage, Female, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Humans, RNA, Small Interfering