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J Cell Sci. 2011 Feb 1;124(Pt 3):422-34. doi: 10.1242/jcs.074229. Epub 2011 Jan 11.

Dynamic recruitment of licensing factor Cdt1 to sites of DNA damage.

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Department of General Biology, School of Medicine, University of Patras, 26500 Rio, Patras, Greece.


For genomic integrity to be maintained, the cell cycle and DNA damage responses must be linked. Cdt1, a G1-specific cell-cycle factor, is targeted for proteolysis by the Cul4-Ddb1(Cdt2) ubiquitin ligase following DNA damage. Using a laser nanosurgery microscope to generate spatially restricted DNA damage within the living cell nucleus, we show that Cdt1 is recruited onto damaged sites in G1 phase cells, within seconds of DNA damage induction. PCNA, Cdt2, Cul4, DDB1 and p21(Cip1) also accumulate rapidly to damaged sites. Cdt1 recruitment is PCNA-dependent, whereas PCNA and Cdt2 recruitment are independent of Cdt1. Fitting of fluorescence recovery after photobleaching profiles to an analytic reaction-diffusion model shows that Cdt1 and p21(Cip1) exhibit highly dynamic binding at the site of damage, whereas PCNA appears immobile. Cdt2 exhibits both a rapidly exchanging and an apparently immobile subpopulation. Our data suggest that PCNA provides an immobile binding interface for dynamic Cdt1 interactions at the site of damage, which leads to rapid Cdt1 recruitment to damaged DNA, preceding Cdt1 degradation.

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