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EMBO J. 2012 Jun 29;31(13):3008-19. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2012.158. Epub 2012 May 25.

Sumoylation of MDC1 is important for proper DNA damage response.

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Key Laboratory of Arrhythmia, Ministry of Education, East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.


In response to DNA damage, many DNA damage factors, such as MDC1 and 53BP1, redistribute to sites of DNA damage. The mechanism governing the turnover of these factors at DNA damage sites, however, remains enigmatic. Here, we show that MDC1 is sumoylated following DNA damage, and the sumoylation of MDC1 at Lys1840 is required for MDC1 degradation and removal of MDC1 and 53BP1 from sites of DNA damage. Sumoylated MDC1 is recognized and ubiquitinated by the SUMO-targeted E3 ubiquitin ligase RNF4. Mutation of the MDC1 Lys 1840 (K1840R) results in impaired CtIP, replication protein A, and Rad51 accumulation at sites of DNA damage and defective homologous recombination (HR). The HR defect caused by MDC1K1840R mutation could be rescued by 53BP1 downregulation. These results reveal the intricate dynamics governing the assembly and disassembly of DNA damage factors at sites of DNA damage for prompt response to DNA damage.

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