The DNA damage checkpoint response is controlled by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinaserelated kinases (PIKK), including ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) and ATM and Rad3-related (ATR). ATR forms a complex with its partner ATRIP. In budding yeast, ATR and ATRIP correspond to Mec1 and Ddc2, respectively. ATRIP/Ddc2 interacts with replication protein A-bound single-stranded DNA (RPA-ssDNA) and recruits ATR/Mec1 to sites of DNA damage. Mec1 is stimulated by the canonical activators including Ddc1, Dpb11 and Dna2. We have characterized the ddc2-S4 mutation and shown that Ddc2 not only recruits Mec1 to sites of DNA damage but also stimulates Mec1 kinase activity. However, the underlying mechanism of Ddc2-dependent Mec1 activation remains to be elucidated. Here we show that Ddc2 promotes Mec1 activation independently of Ddc1/Dpb11/Dna2 function in vivo and through ssDNA recognition in vitro. The ddc2-S4 mutation diminishes damage-induced phosphorylation of the checkpoint mediators, Rad9 and Mrc1. Rad9 controls checkpoint throughout the cell-cycle whereas Mrc1 is specifically required for the S-phase checkpoint. Notably, S-phase checkpoint signaling is more defective in ddc2-S4 mutants than in cells where the Mec1 activators (Ddc1/Dpb11 and Dna2) are dysfunctional. To understand a role of Ddc2 in Mec1 activation, we reconstituted an in vitro assay using purified Mec1-Ddc2 complex, RPA and ssDNA. Whereas ssDNA stimulates kinase activity of the Mec1-Ddc2 complex, RPA does not. However, RPA can promote ssDNA-dependent Mec1 activation. Neither ssDNA nor RPA-ssDNA efficiently stimulates the Mec1-Ddc2 complex containing Ddc2-S4 mutant. Together, our data support a model in which Ddc2 promotes Mec1 activation at RPA-ssDNA tracts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research