Cdk1 restrains NHEJ through phosphorylation of XRCC4-like factor Xlf1

Hentges, Pierre, Waller, Helen Rachel, Reis, Clara C, Ferreira, Miguel Godinho and Doherty, Aidan J (2014) Cdk1 restrains NHEJ through phosphorylation of XRCC4-like factor Xlf1. Cell Reports, 9 (6). pp. 2011-2017. ISSN 2211-1247

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Eukaryotic cells use two principal mechanisms for repairing DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs): homologous recombination (HR) and nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ). DSB repair pathway choice is strongly regulated during the cell cycle. Cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) activates HR by phosphorylation of key recombination factors. However, a mechanism for regulating the NHEJ pathway has not been established. Here, we report that Xlf1, a fission yeast XLF ortholog, is a key regulator of NHEJ activity in the cell cycle. We show that Cdk1 phosphorylates residues in the C terminus of Xlf1 over the course of the cell cycle. Mutation of these residues leads to the loss of Cdk1 phosphorylation, resulting in elevated levels of NHEJ repair in vivo. Together, these data establish that Xlf1 phosphorylation by Cdc2Cdk1 provides a molecular mechanism for downregulation of NHEJ in fission yeast and indicates that XLF is a key regulator of end-joining processes in eukaryotic organisms.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: DSB repair; NHEJ; HR; cell cycle, XLF; cdc2; cdk1; cyclin-dependent kinase; phosphorylation; fission yeast, regulation
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Sussex Centre for Genome Damage and Stability
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology
Depositing User: Pierre Hentges
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2015 09:09
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 09:47

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Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Cell cycle regulation of the NHEJ DNA double-strand break repair pathway in eukaryotesG1554BBSRCBB/M004236/1
Understanding the cellular regulation of the NHEJ double-break repair pathwayR3KJCancer Research UKC1470/A12430