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Cell Cycle. 2004 Dec;3(12):1579-86. Epub 2004 Dec 4.

ATR and ATM-dependent movement of BLM helicase during replication stress ensures optimal ATM activation and 53BP1 focus formation.

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Life Sciences Division, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.


The BLM helicase, a deficiency that markedly increases cancer incidence in humans, is required for optimal repair during DNA replication. We show that BLM rapidly moves from PML nuclear bodies to damaged replication forks, returning to PML bodies several hours later, owing to activities of the DNA damage response kinases ATR and ATM, respectively. Immunofluorescence and cellular fractionation demonstrate that BLM partitions to different sub-cellular compartments after replication stress. Unexpectedly, fibroblasts lacking BLM were deficient in phospho-ATM (S-1981) and 53-binding protein-1 (53BP1), and these proteins failed to form foci following replication stress. Expression of a dominant p53 mutant or helicase-deficient BLM restored replication stress-induced 53BP1 foci, but only mutant p53 restored optimal ATM activation. Thus, optimal repair of damaged replication fork lesions likely requires both ATR and ATM. BLM recruits 53BP1 to these lesions independent of its helicase activity, and optimal activation of ATM requires both p53 and BLM helicase activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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