Dephosphorylation of the C-terminal tyrosyl residue of the DNA damage-related histone H2A.X is mediated by the protein phosphatase eyes absent

J Biol Chem. 2009 Jun 12;284(24):16066-16070. doi: 10.1074/jbc.C900032200. Epub 2009 Apr 7.


In mammalian cells, the DNA damage-related histone H2A variant H2A.X is characterized by a C-terminal tyrosyl residue, Tyr-142, which is phosphorylated by an atypical kinase, WSTF. The phosphorylation status of Tyr-142 in H2A.X has been shown to be an important regulator of the DNA damage response by controlling the formation of gammaH2A.X foci, which are platforms for recruiting molecules involved in DNA damage repair and signaling. In this work, we present evidence to support the identification of the Eyes Absent (EYA) phosphatases, protein-tyrosine phosphatases of the haloacid dehalogenase superfamily, as being responsible for dephosphorylating the C-terminal tyrosyl residue of histone H2A.X. We demonstrate that EYA2 and EYA3 displayed specificity for Tyr-142 of H2A.X in assays in vitro. Suppression of eya3 by RNA interference resulted in elevated basal phosphorylation and inhibited DNA damage-induced dephosphorylation of Tyr-142 of H2A.X in vivo. This study provides the first indication of a physiological substrate for the EYA phosphatases and suggests a novel role for these enzymes in regulation of the DNA damage response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA Damage / physiology*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Electrochemistry
  • Histones / chemistry
  • Histones / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / chemistry
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / genetics
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Metals / metabolism
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 1 / metabolism
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / chemistry
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / genetics
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / metabolism*
  • RNA Interference
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Transfection
  • Tyrosine / metabolism


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • H2AX protein, human
  • Histones
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Metals
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Tyrosine
  • EYA2 protein, human
  • EYA3 protein, human
  • PTPN1 protein, human
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 1
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases

Associated data

  • PDB/3GEB