Obstacles such as DNA damage can block the progression of DNA replication forks. This is a major source of genome instability that can lead to cell transformation or death. The budding yeast MMS1 and MMS22 genes were identified in a screen for mutants that were hypersensitive to DNA alkylation that blocks replisome progression. I set out to investigate the cellular roles of these genes and found that cells lacking MMS1 or MMS22 are hypersensitive to a wide variety of genotoxins that stall or block replication forks, and are severely defective in their ability to recover from DNA alkylation damage. Homologous recombination (HR) is an important mechanism for the rescue of stalled or blocked replication forks and for the repair of double-strand breaks (DSBs). Strikingly, MMS1 and MMS22 are required for HR induced by replication stress but not by DSBs, and the underlying mechanisms were explored.I next identified the uncharacterized protein C6ORF167 (MMS22L) as a putative human Mms22 orthologue. MMS22L interacts with NF?BIL2/TONSL, the histone chaperone ASF1 and subunits of the MCM replicative helicase. MMS22L colocalizes with TONSL at perturbed replication forks and at sites of DNA damage. MMS22L and TONSL are important for the repair of collapsed replication forks as depletion of MMS22L or TONSL from human cells causes DNA damage during S–phase and hypersensitivity to agents that cause fork collapse. These defects are consistent with the observations that MMS22L and TONSL are required for the efficient loading of the RAD51 recombinase onto resected DNA ends and for efficient HR. These data indicate that MMS22L and TONSL are novel regulators of genome stability that enable efficient HR.
|Date of Award||2010|
|Sponsors||Medical Research Council & Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award|
|Supervisor||John Rouse (Supervisor)|
- DNA damage
- Genome stability
- Homologous recombination