Distinct roles of structure-specific endonucleases EEPD1 and Metnase in replication stress responses

Neelam Sharma, Michael C. Speed, Christopher P. Allen, David G. Maranon, Elizabeth Williamson, Sudha Singh, Robert Hromas, Jac A. Nickoloff

Producción científica: Articlerevisión exhaustiva

10 Citas (Scopus)


Accurate DNA replication and segregation are critical for maintaining genome integrity and suppressing cancer. Metnase and EEPD1 are DNA damage response (DDR) proteins frequently dysregulated in cancer and implicated in cancer etiology and tumor response to genotoxic chemo- and radiotherapy. Here, we examine the DDR in human cell lines with CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of Metnase or EEPD1. The knockout cell lines exhibit slightly slower growth rates, significant hypersensitivity to replication stress, increased genome instability and distinct alterations in DDR signaling. Metnase and EEPD1 are structure-specific nucleases. EEPD1 is recruited to and cleaves stalled forks to initiate fork restart by homologous recombination. Here, we demonstrate that Metnase is also recruited to stalled forks where it appears to dimethylate histone H3 lysine 36 (H3K36me2), raising the possibility that H3K36me2 promotes DDR factor recruitment or limits nucleosome eviction to protect forks from nucleolytic attack. We show that stalled forks are cleaved normally in the absence of Metnase, an important and novel result because a prior study indicated that Metnase nuclease is important for timely fork restart. A double knockout was as sensitive to etoposide as either single knockout, suggesting a degree of epistasis between Metnase and EEPD1. We propose that EEPD1 initiates fork restart by cleaving stalled forks, and that Metnase may promote fork restart by processing homologous recombination intermediates and/or inducing H3K36me2 to recruit DDR factors. By accelerating fork restart, Metnase and EEPD1 reduce the chance that stalled replication forks will adopt toxic or genome-destabilizing structures, preventing genome instability and cancer. Metnase and EEPD1 are overexpressed in some cancers and thus may also promote resistance to genotoxic therapeutics.

Idioma originalEnglish (US)
Número de artículozcaa008
PublicaciónNAR Cancer
EstadoPublished - jun 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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