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53BP1 controls a specialized non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) pathway that is essential for adaptive immunity, yet oncogenic in BRCA1 mutant cancers. Intra-chromosomal DNA double-strand break (DSB) joining events during immunoglobulin class switch recombination (CSR) require 53BP1. However, in BRCA1 mutant cells, 53BP1 blocks homologous recombination (HR) and promotes toxic NHEJ, resulting in genomic instability. Here, we identify the protein dimerization hub-DYNLL1-as an organizer of multimeric 53BP1 complexes. DYNLL1 binding stimulates 53BP1 oligomerization, and promotes 53BP1's recruitment to, and interaction with, DSB-associated chromatin. Consequently, DYNLL1 regulates 53BP1-dependent NHEJ: CSR is compromised upon deletion of Dynll1 or its transcriptional regulator Asciz, or by mutation of DYNLL1 binding motifs in 53BP1; furthermore, Brca1 mutant cells and tumours are rendered resistant to poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor treatments upon deletion of Dynll1 or Asciz. Thus, our results reveal a mechanism that regulates 53BP1-dependent NHEJ and the therapeutic response of BRCA1-deficient cancers.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Commun

Publication Date





Animals, BRCA1 Protein, Breast Neoplasms, CRISPR-Cas Systems, Cell Line, Tumor, Cytoplasmic Dyneins, DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded, DNA End-Joining Repair, Female, Genomic Instability, HEK293 Cells, Humans, MCF-7 Cells, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Knockout, Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors, Transcription Factors, Tumor Suppressor p53-Binding Protein 1