DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are perhaps the most toxic of all DNA lesions, with defects in the DNA-damage response to DSBs being associated with various human diseases. Although it is known that DSB repair pathways are tightly regulated by ubiquitylation, we do not yet have a comprehensive understanding of how deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) function in DSB responses. Here, by carrying out a multidimensional screening strategy for human DUBs, we identify several with hitherto unknown links to DSB repair, the G2/M DNA-damage checkpoint and genome-integrity maintenance. Phylogenetic analyses reveal functional clustering within certain DUB subgroups, suggesting evolutionally conserved functions and/or related modes of action. Furthermore, we establish that the DUB UCHL5 regulates DSB resection and repair by homologous recombination through protecting its interactor, NFRKB, from degradation. Collectively, our findings extend the list of DUBs promoting the maintenance of genome integrity, and highlight their potential as therapeutic targets for cancer.
DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair occurs within chromatin and can be modulated by chromatin-modifying enzymes. Here we identify the related human histone deacetylases HDAC1 and HDAC2 as two participants in the DNA-damage response. We show that acetylation of histone H3 Lys56 (H3K56) was regulated by HDAC1 and HDAC2 and that HDAC1 and HDAC2 were rapidly recruited to DNA-damage sites to promote hypoacetylation of H3K56. Furthermore, HDAC1- and 2-depleted cells were hypersensitive to DNA-damaging agents and showed sustained DNA-damage signaling, phenotypes that reflect defective DSB repair, particularly by nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ). Collectively, these results show that HDAC1 and HDAC2 function in the DNA-damage response by promoting DSB repair and thus provide important insights into the radio-sensitizing effects of HDAC inhibitors that are being developed as cancer therapies.
The Mi-2/NuRD (NUcleosome Remodeling and histone Deacetylase) chromatin remodeling complex is a large heterogeneous multiprotein complex associated with transcriptional repression. Here we apply a SILAC based quantitative proteomics approach to show that all known Mi-2/NuRD complex subunits co-purify with Cyclin Dependent Kinase 2 Associated Protein1 (CDK2AP1), also known as Deleted in Oral Cancer 1 (DOC-1). DOC-1 displays in vitro binding affinity for methylated DNA as part of the meCpG binding MBD2/NuRD complex. In luciferase reporter assays, DOC-1 is a potent repressor of transcription. Finally, immunofluorescence experiments reveal co-localization between MBD2 and DOC-1 in mouse NIH-3T3 nuclei. Collectively, these results indicate that DOC-1 is a bona fide subunit of the Mi-2/NuRD chromatin remodeling complex.
Recognition and repair of damaged DNA occurs within the context of chromatin. The key protein components of chromatin are histones, whose post-translational modifications control diverse chromatin functions. Here, we report our findings from a large-scale screen for DNA-damage-responsive histone modifications in human cells. We have identified specific phosphorylations and acetylations on histone H3 that decrease in response to DNA damage. Significantly, we find that DNA-damage-induced changes in H3S10p, H3S28p and H3.3S31p are a consequence of cell-cycle re-positioning rather than DNA damage per se. In contrast, H3K9Ac and H3K56Ac, a mark previously uncharacterized in human cells, are rapidly and reversibly reduced in response to DNA damage. Finally, we show that the histone acetyl-transferase GCN5/KAT2A acetylates H3K56 in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, our data indicate that though most histone modifications do not change appreciably after genotoxic stress, H3K9Ac and H3K56Ac are reduced in response to DNA damage in human cells.
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