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1.  PARP activation regulates the RNA-binding protein NONO in the DNA damage response to DNA double-strand breaks 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;40(20):10287-10301.
After the generation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is one of the first proteins to be recruited and activated through its binding to the free DNA ends. Upon activation, PARP-1 uses NAD+ to generate large amounts of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR), which facilitates the recruitment of DNA repair factors. Here, we identify the RNA-binding protein NONO, a partner protein of SFPQ, as a novel PAR-binding protein. The protein motif being primarily responsible for PAR-binding is the RNA recognition motif 1 (RRM1), which is also crucial for RNA-binding, highlighting a competition between RNA and PAR as they share the same binding site. Strikingly, the in vivo recruitment of NONO to DNA damage sites completely depends on PAR, generated by activated PARP-1. Furthermore, we show that upon PAR-dependent recruitment, NONO stimulates nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) and represses homologous recombination (HR) in vivo. Our results therefore place NONO after PARP activation in the context of DNA DSB repair pathway decision. Understanding the mechanism of action of proteins that act in the same pathway as PARP-1 is crucial to shed more light onto the effect of interference on PAR-mediated pathways with PARP inhibitors, which have already reached phase III clinical trials but are until date poorly understood.
doi:10.1093/nar/gks798
PMCID: PMC3488241  PMID: 22941645
2.  CBX4-mediated SUMO modification regulates BMI1 recruitment at sites of DNA damage 
Nucleic Acids Research  2012;40(12):5497-5510.
Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are involved in epigenetic silencing where they function as major determinants of cell identity, stem cell pluripotency and the epigenetic gene silencing involved in cancer development. Recently numerous PcG proteins, including CBX4, have been shown to accumulate at sites of DNA damage. However, it remains unclear whether or not CBX4 or its E3 sumo ligase activity is directly involved in the DNA damage response (DDR). Here we define a novel role for CBX4 as an early DDR protein that mediates SUMO conjugation at sites of DNA lesions. DNA damage stimulates sumoylation of BMI1 by CBX4 at lysine 88, which is required for the accumulation of BMI1 at DNA damage sites. Moreover, we establish that CBX4 recruitment to the sites of laser micro-irradiation-induced DNA damage requires PARP activity but does not require H2AX, RNF8, BMI1 nor PI-3-related kinases. The importance of CBX4 in the DDR was confirmed by the depletion of CBX4, which resulted in decreased cellular resistance to ionizing radiation. Our results reveal a direct role for CBX4 in the DDR pathway.
doi:10.1093/nar/gks222
PMCID: PMC3384338  PMID: 22402492

Results 1-2 (2)