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.
The DNA damage response (DDR) is critical for genome stability and the suppression of a wide variety of human malignancies, including neurodevelopmental disorders, immunodeficiency, and cancer. In addition, the efficacy of many chemotherapeutic strategies is dictated by the status of the DDR. Ubiquitin-specific protease 28 (USP28) was reported to govern the stability of multiple factors that are critical for diverse aspects of the DDR. Here, we examined the effects of USP28 depletion on the DDR in cells and in vivo. We found that USP28 is recruited to double-strand breaks in a manner that requires the tandem BRCT domains of the DDR protein 53BP1. However, we observed only minor DDR defects in USP28-depleted cells, and mice lacking USP28 showed normal longevity, immunological development, and radiation responses. Our results thus indicate that USP28 is not a critical factor in double-strand break metabolism and is unlikely to be an attractive target for therapeutic intervention aimed at chemotherapy sensitization.
The chromatin remodelling factor chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 4 (CHD4) is a catalytic subunit of the NuRD transcriptional repressor complex. Here, we reveal novel functions for CHD4 in the DNA-damage response (DDR) and cell-cycle control. We show that CHD4 mediates rapid poly(ADP-ribose)-dependent recruitment of the NuRD complex to DNA-damage sites, and we identify CHD4 as a phosphorylation target for the apical DDR kinase ataxia-telangiectasia mutated. Functionally, we show that CHD4 promotes repair of DNA double-strand breaks and cell survival after DNA damage. In addition, we show that CHD4 acts as an important regulator of the G1/S cell-cycle transition by controlling p53 deacetylation. These results provide new insights into how the chromatin remodelling complex NuRD contributes to maintaining genome stability.
Mutations in BRCA1 are associated with a high risk of breast and ovarian cancer. BRCA1 participates in the DNA damage response and acts as a ubiquitin ligase. However, its regulation remains poorly understood. Here we report that BRCA1 is modified by small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) in response to genotoxic stress, and co-localizes at sites of DNA damage with SUMO1, SUMO2/3 and the SUMO-conjugating enzyme Ubc9. PIAS SUMO E3 ligases co-localize with and modulate SUMO modification of BRCA1, and are required for BRCA1 ubiquitin ligase activity in cells. In vitro SUMO modification of the BRCA1/BARD1 heterodimer greatly increases its ligase activity, identifying it as a SUMO-regulated ubiquitin ligase (SRUbL). Further, PIAS SUMO ligases are required for complete accumulation of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) damage-repair proteins subsequent to RNF8 accrual, and for proficient double-strand break repair. These data demonstrate that the SUMOylation pathway plays a significant role in mammalian DNA damage response.
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are highly cytotoxic lesions that are generated by ionizing radiation and various DNA-damaging chemicals. Following DSB formation, cells activate the DNA-damage response (DDR) protein kinases ATM, ATR and DNA-PK (also known as PRKDC). These then trigger histone H2AX (also known as H2AFX) phosphorylation and the accumulation of proteins such as MDC1, 53BP1 (also known as TP53BP1), BRCA1, CtIP (also known as RBBP8), RNF8 and RNF168/RIDDLIN into ionizing radiation-induced foci (IRIF) that amplify DSB signalling and promote DSB repair. Attachment of small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) to target proteins controls diverse cellular functions. Here, we show that SUMO1, SUMO2 and SUMO3 accumulate at DSB sites in mammalian cells, with SUMO1 and SUMO2/3 accrual requiring the E3 ligase enzymes PIAS4 and PIAS1. We also establish that PIAS1 and PIAS4 are recruited to damage sites via mechanisms requiring their SAP domains, and are needed for the productive association of 53BP1, BRCA1 and RNF168 with such regions. Furthermore, we show that PIAS1 and PIAS4 promote DSB repair and confer ionizing radiation resistance. Finally, we establish that PIAS1 and PIAS4 are required for effective ubiquitin-adduct formation mediated by RNF8, RNF168 and BRCA1 at sites of DNA damage. These findings thus identify PIAS1 and PIAS4 as components of the DDR and reveal how protein recruitment to DSB sites is controlled by coordinated SUMOylation and ubiquitylation.
Protein ubiquitylation and sumoylation play key roles in regulating cellular responses to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Here, we show that human RNF4, a small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)-targeted ubiquitin E3 ligase, is recruited to DSBs in a manner requiring its SUMO interaction motifs, the SUMO E3 ligases PIAS1 and PIAS4, and various DSB-responsive proteins. Furthermore, we reveal that RNF4 depletion impairs ubiquitin adduct formation at DSB sites and causes persistent histone H2AX phosphorylation (?H2AX) associated with defective DSB repair, hypersensitivity toward DSB-inducing agents, and delayed recovery from radiation-induced cell cycle arrest. We establish that RNF4 regulates turnover of the DSB-responsive factors MDC1 and replication protein A (RPA) at DNA damage sites and that RNF4-depleted cells fail to effectively replace RPA by the homologous recombination factors BRCA2 and RAD51 on resected DNA. Consistent with previous data showing that RNF4 targets proteins to the proteasome, we show that the proteasome component PSMD4 is recruited to DNA damage sites in a manner requiring its ubiquitin-interacting domains, RNF4 and RNF8. Finally, we establish that PSMD4 binds MDC1 and RPA1 in a DNA damage-induced, RNF4-dependent manner and that PSMD4 depletion cause MDC1 and ?H2AX persistence in irradiated cells. RNF4 thus operates as a DSB response factor at the crossroads between the SUMO and ubiquitin systems.
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