Thomas-Claudepierre AS, Schiavo E, Heyer V, Fournier M, Page A, Robert I, Reina-San-Martin B
Immunoglobulin (Ig) class switch recombination (CSR) is initiated by the transcription-coupled recruitment of activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) to switch regions and by the subsequent generation of double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs). These DNA breaks are ultimately resolved through the nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) pathway. We show that during CSR, AID associates with subunits of cohesin, a complex previously implicated in sister chromatid cohesion, DNA repair, and the formation of DNA loops between enhancers and promoters. Furthermore, we implicate the cohesin complex in the mechanism of CSR by showing that cohesin is dynamically recruited to the Sμ-Cμ region of the IgH locus during CSR and that knockdown of cohesin or its regulatory subunits results in impaired CSR and increased usage of microhomology-based end joining.