Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.
The DNA damage response (DDR) is an extensive signaling network that is robustly mobilized by DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). The primary transducer of the DSB response is the protein kinase, ataxia-telangiectasia, mutated (ATM). Here, we establish nuclear poly(A)-binding protein 1 (PABPN1) as a novel target of ATM and a crucial player in the DSB response. PABPN1 usually functions in regulation of RNA processing and stability. We establish that PABPN1 is recruited to the DDR as a critical regulator of DSB repair. A portion of PABPN1 relocalizes to DSB sites and is phosphorylated on Ser95 in an ATM-dependent manner. PABPN1 depletion sensitizes cells to DSB-inducing agents and prolongs the DSB-induced G2/M cell-cycle arrest, and DSB repair is hampered by PABPN1 depletion or elimination of its phosphorylation site. PABPN1 is required for optimal DSB repair via both nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination repair (HRR), and specifically is essential for efficient DNA-end resection, an initial, key step in HRR. Using mass spectrometry analysis, we capture DNA damage-induced interactions of phospho-PABPN1, including well-established DDR players as well as other RNA metabolizing proteins. Our results uncover a novel ATM-dependent axis in the rapidly growing interface between RNA metabolism and the DDR.