Chromatin compaction of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) presents a major challenge to the detection and removal of DNA damage. Helix-distorting DNA lesions that block transcription are specifically repaired by transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair, which is initiated by binding of the CSB protein to lesion-stalled RNA polymerase II. Using live cell imaging, we identify a novel function for two distinct mammalian ISWI adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes in resolving lesion-stalled transcription. Human ISWI isoform SMARCA5/SNF2H and its binding partners ACF1 and WSTF are rapidly recruited to UV-C induced DNA damage to specifically facilitate CSB binding and to promote transcription recovery. SMARCA5 targeting to UV-C damage depends on transcription and histone modifications and requires functional SWI2/SNF2-ATPase and SLIDE domains. After initial recruitment to UV damage, SMARCA5 re-localizes away from the center of DNA damage, requiring its HAND domain. Our studies support a model in which SMARCA5 targeting to DNA damage-stalled transcription sites is controlled by an ATP-hydrolysis-dependent scanning and proofreading mechanism, highlighting how SWI2/SNF2 chromatin remodelers identify and bind nucleosomes containing damaged DNA.
© The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.