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EMBO J. 1999 Oct 15;18(20):5745-54.

The replication factory targeting sequence/PCNA-binding site is required in G(1) to control the phosphorylation status of DNA ligase I.

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  • 1Istituto di Genetica Biochimica ed Evoluzionistica, CNR, Via Abbiategrasso 207, 27100 Pavia, Italy.


The recruitment of DNA ligase I to replication foci in S phase depends on a replication factory targeting sequence that also mediates the interaction with proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in vitro. By exploiting a monoclonal antibody directed at a phospho-epitope, we demonstrate that Ser66 of DNA ligase I, which is part of a strong CKII consensus site, is phosphorylated in a cell cycle-dependent manner. After dephosphorylation in early G(1), the level of Ser66 phosphorylation is minimal in G(1), increases progressively in S and peaks in G(2)/M phase. The analysis of epitope-tagged DNA ligase I mutants demonstrates that dephosphorylation of Ser66 requires both the nuclear localization and the PCNA-binding site of the enzyme. Finally, we show that DNA ligase I and PCNA interact in vivo in G(1) and S phase but not in G(2)/M. We propose that dephosphorylation of Ser66 is part of a novel control mechanism to establish the pre-replicative form of DNA ligase I.

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