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Mol Biol Cell. 2009 Mar;20(6):1683-94. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E08-08-0877. Epub 2009 Jan 21.

Esc2 and Sgs1 act in functionally distinct branches of the homologous recombination repair pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DS, United Kingdom.


Esc2 is a member of the RENi family of SUMO-like domain proteins and is implicated in gene silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here, we identify a dual role for Esc2 during S-phase in mediating both intra-S-phase DNA damage checkpoint signaling and preventing the accumulation of Rad51-dependent homologous recombination repair (HRR) intermediates. These roles are qualitatively similar to those of Sgs1, the yeast ortholog of the human Bloom's syndrome protein, BLM. However, whereas mutation of either ESC2 or SGS1 leads to the accumulation of unprocessed HRR intermediates in the presence of MMS, the accumulation of these structures in esc2 (but not sgs1) mutants is entirely dependent on Mph1, a protein that shows structural similarity to the Fanconi anemia group M protein (FANCM). In the absence of both Esc2 and Sgs1, the intra-S-phase DNA damage checkpoint response is compromised after exposure to MMS, and sgs1esc2 cells attempt to undergo mitosis with unprocessed HRR intermediates. We propose a model whereby Esc2 acts in an Mph1-dependent process, separately from Sgs1, to influence the repair/tolerance of MMS-induced lesions during S-phase.

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