Repair Kinetics of Genomic Interstrand DNA Cross-Links: Evidence for DNA Double-Strand Break-Dependent Activation of the Fanconi Anemia/BRCA Pathway

Andreas Rothfuss, Markus Grompe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

190 Scopus citations

Abstract

The detailed mechanisms of DNA interstrand cross-link (ICL) repair and the involvement of the Fanconi anemia (FA)/BRCA pathway in this process are not known. Present models suggest that recognition and repair of ICL in human cells occur primarily during the S phase. Here we provide evidence for a refined model in which ICLs are recognized and are rapidly incised by ERCC1/XPF independent of DNA replication. However, the incised ICLs are then processed further and DNA double-strand breaks (DSB) form exclusively in the S phase. FA cells are fully proficient in the sensing and incision of ICL as well as in the subsequent formation of DSB, suggesting a role of the FA/BRCA pathway downstream in ICL repair. In fact, activation of FANCD2 occurs slowly after ICL treatment and correlates with the appearance of DSB in the S phase. In contrast, activation is rapid after ionizing radiation, indicating that the FA/BRCA pathway is specifically activated upon DSB formation. Furthermore, the formation of FANCD2 foci is restricted to a subpopulation of cells, which can be labeled by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation. We therefore conclude that the FA/BRCA pathway, while being dispensable for the early events in ICL repair, is activated in S-phase cells after DSB have formed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-134
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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