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Cell Cycle. 2015 Aug 3;14(15):2439-50. doi: 10.1080/15384101.2015.1060381. Epub 2015 Jun 17.

Sumoylation regulates EXO1 stability and processing of DNA damage.

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a Institute of Molecular Cancer Research; University of Zurich ; Zurich , Switzerland.


DNA double-strand break repair by the error-free pathway of homologous recombination (HR) requires the concerted action of several factors. Among these, EXO1 and DNA2/BLM are responsible for the extensive resection of DNA ends to produce 3'-overhangs, which are essential intermediates for downstream steps of HR. Here we show that EXO1 is a SUMO target and that sumoylation affects EXO1 ubiquitylation and protein stability. We identify an UBC9-PIAS1/PIAS4-dependent mechanism controlling human EXO1 sumoylation in vivo and demonstrate conservation of this mechanism in yeast by the Ubc9-Siz1/Siz2 using an in vitro reconstituted system. Furthermore, we show physical interaction between EXO1 and the de-sumoylating enzyme SENP6 both in vitro and in vivo, promoting EXO1 stability. Finally, we identify the major sites of sumoylation in EXO1 and show that ectopic expression of a sumoylation-deficient form of EXO1 rescues the DNA damage-induced chromosomal aberrations observed upon wt-EXO1 expression. Thus, our study identifies a novel layer of regulation of EXO1, making the pathways that regulate its function an ideal target for therapeutic intervention.


DNA resection; chromosome aberrations; exonuclease-1; sumoylation; ubiquitylation

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