DHX9-dependent recruitment of BRCA1 to RNA promotes DNA end resection in homologous recombination

Prasun Chakraborty, Kevin Hiom (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
98 Downloads (Pure)


Double stranded DNA Breaks (DSB) that occur in highly transcribed regions of the genome are preferentially repaired by homologous recombination repair (HR). However, the mechanisms that link transcription with HR are unknown. Here we identify a critical role for DHX9, a RNA helicase involved in the processing of pre-mRNA during transcription, in the initiation of HR. Cells that are deficient in DHX9 are impaired in the recruitment of RPA and RAD51 to sites of DNA damage and fail to repair DSB by HR. Consequently, these cells are hypersensitive to treatment with agents such as camptothecin and Olaparib that block transcription and generate DSB that specifically require HR for their repair. We show that DHX9 plays a critical role in HR by promoting the recruitment of BRCA1 to RNA as part of the RNA Polymerase II transcription complex, where it facilitates the resection of DSB. Moreover, defects in DHX9 also lead to impaired ATR-mediated damage signalling and an inability to restart DNA replication at camptothecin-induced DSB. Together, our data reveal a previously unknown role for DHX9 in the DNA Damage Response that provides a critical link between RNA, RNA Pol II and the repair of DNA damage by homologous recombination.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4126
Number of pages18
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2021


  • DNA recombination
  • Double-strand DNA breaks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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