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A role for the yeast PCNA unloader Elg1 in eliciting the DNA damage checkpoint

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During cell proliferation, the genome is constantly threatened by cellular and external factors. When the DNA is damaged, or when its faithful duplication is delayed by DNA polymerase stalling, the cells induce a coordinated response termed the DNA damage response (DDR) or checkpoint. Elg1 forms an RFC-like complex in charge of unloading the DNA polymerase processively factor PCNA during DNA replication and DNA repair. Using checkpoint-inducible strains, a recently published paper (Sau et al. in mBio 10(3):e01159-19., 2019) uncovered a role for Elg1 in eliciting the DNA damage checkpoint (DC), one of the branches of the DDR. The apical kinase Mec1/ATR phosphorylates Elg1, as well as the adaptor proteins Rad9/53BP1 and Dpb11/TopBP1, which are recruited to the site of DNA damage to amplify the checkpoint signal. In the absence of Elg1, Rad9 and Dpb11 are recruited but fail to be phosphorylated and the signal is therefore not amplified. Thus, Elg1 appears to coordinate DNA repair and the induction of the DNA damage checkpoint.

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We thank all the members of the Kupiec lab for ideas and support. MK was supported by grants from the Israel Science Foundation, the Israel Cancer Research Fund and the Minerva Center. SS is a Ramalingaswami Fellow, supported by DBT, Govt. of India.

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Correspondence to Martin Kupiec.

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Sau, S., Kupiec, M. A role for the yeast PCNA unloader Elg1 in eliciting the DNA damage checkpoint. Curr Genet 66, 79–84 (2020).

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  • PCNA unloading
  • DNA damage response
  • Replication checkpoint
  • DNA damage checkpoint
  • Mec1 (ATR)
  • RAD53 (CHK2)
  • Rad9 (53BP1)
  • Dpb11 (TopBP1)