The ATM homologue MEC1 is required for phosphorylation of replication protein A in yeast

George S. Brush, Dwight M. Morrow, Philip Hieter, Thomas J. Kelly

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Replication protein A (RPA) is a highly conserved single-stranded DNA- binding protein, required for cellular DNA replication, repair, and recombination. In human cells, RPA is phosphorylated during the S and G2 phases of the cell cycle and also in response to ionizing or ultraviolet radiation. Saccharomyces cerevisiae exhibits a similar pattern of cell cycle- regulated RPA phosphorylation, and our studies indicate that the radiation- induced reactions occur in yeast as well. We have examined yeast RPA phosphorylation during the normal cell cycle and in response to environmental insult, and have demonstrated that the checkpoint gene MEC1 is required for the reaction under all conditions tested. Through examination of several checkpoint mutants, we have placed RPA phosphorylation in a novel pathway of the DNA damage response. MEC1 is similar in sequence to human ATM, the gene mutated in patients with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T). A-T cells are deficient in multiple checkpoint pathways and are hypersensitive to killing by ionizing radiation. Because A-T cells exhibit a delay in ionizing radiation-induced RPA phosphorylation, our results indicate a functional similarity between MEC1 and ATM, and suggest that RPA phosphorylation is involved in a conserved eukaryotic DNA damage-response pathway defective in A-T.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15075-15080
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number26
StatePublished - Dec 24 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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