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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Sep 12;103(37):13771-6. Epub 2006 Aug 29.

Yeast G1 DNA damage checkpoint regulation by H2A phosphorylation is independent of chromatin remodeling.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Recent studies of yeast G1 DNA damage response have identified characteristic changes in chromatin adjacent to double-strand breaks (DSBs). Histone H2A (yeast H2AX) is rapidly phosphorylated on S129 by the kinase Tel1 (ATM) over a domain extending kilobases from the DSB. The adaptor protein Rad9 (53BP1) is recruited to this chromatin domain through binding of its tudor domains to histone H3 diMe-K79. Multisite phosphorylation of Rad9 by Mec1 (ATR) then activates the signaling kinase Rad53 (CHK2) to induce a delay in G1. Here, we report a previously undescribed role for Tel1 in G1 checkpoint response and show that H2A is the likely phosphorylation target, in a much as S129 mutation to Ala confers defects in G1 checkpoint arrest, Rad9 phosphorylation, and Rad53 activation. Importantly, Rad9 fails to bind chromatin adjacent to DSBs in H2A-S129A mutants. Previous work showed that H2A phosphorylation allows binding of NuA4, SWR, and INO80 chromatin remodeling complexes, perhaps exposing H3 diMe-K79. Yet, mutants lacking SWR or INO80 remain checkpoint competent, whereas loss of NuA4-dependent histone acetylation leads to G1 checkpoint persistence, suggesting that H2A phosphorylation promotes two independent events, rapid Rad9 recruitment to DSBs and subsequent remodeling by NuA4, SWR, and INO80.

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