Publication of IMPRS-LS students Giulia di Cicco and Susanne Bantele

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di Cicco G, Bantele SCS, Reusswig KU, Pfander B.
Sci Rep 7, 11650.
doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-11937-z

A cell cycle-independent mode of the Rad9-Dpb11 interaction is induced by DNA damage.

Budding yeast Rad9, like its orthologs, controls two aspects of the cellular response to DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) - signalling of the DNA damage checkpoint and DNA end resection. Rad9 binds to damaged chromatin via modified nucleosomes independently of the cell cycle phase. Additionally, Rad9 engages in a cell cycle-regulated interaction with Dpb11 and the 9-1-1 clamp, generating a second pathway that recruits Rad9 to DNA damage sites. Binding to Dpb11 depends on specific S/TP phosphorylation sites of Rad9, which are modified by cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK). Here, we show that these sites additionally become phosphorylated upon DNA damage. We define the requirements for DNA damage-induced S/TP phosphorylation of Rad9 and show that it is independent of the cell cycle or CDK activity but requires prior recruitment of Rad9 to damaged chromatin, indicating that it is catalysed by a chromatin-bound kinase. The checkpoint kinases Mec1 and Tel1 are required for Rad9 S/TP phosphorylation, but their influence is likely indirect and involves phosphorylation of Rad9 at S/TQ sites. Notably, DNA damage-induced S/TP phosphorylation triggers Dpb11 binding to Rad9, but the DNA damage-induced Rad9-Dpb11 interaction is dispensable for recruitment to DNA damage sites, indicating that the Rad9-Dpb11 interaction functions beyond Rad9 recruitment.