The nuclease FAN1 is involved in DNA crosslink repair in Arabidopsis thaliana independently of the nuclease MUS81

Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Apr 20;43(7):3653-66. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv208. Epub 2015 Mar 16.


Fanconi anemia is a severe genetic disorder. Mutations in one of several genes lead to defects in DNA crosslink (CL) repair in human cells. An essential step in CL repair is the activation of the pathway by the monoubiquitination of the heterodimer FANCD2/FANCI, which recruits the nuclease FAN1 to the CL site. Surprisingly, FAN1 function is not conserved between different eukaryotes. No FAN1 homolog is present in Drosophila and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The FAN1 homolog in Schizosaccharomyces pombe is involved in CL repair; a homolog is present in Xenopus but is not involved in CL repair. Here we show that a FAN1 homolog is present in plants and it is involved in CL repair in Arabidopsis thaliana. Both the virus-type replication-repair nuclease and the ubiquitin-binding ubiquitin-binding zinc finger domains are essential for this function. FAN1 likely acts upstream of two sub-pathways of CL repair. These pathways are defined by the Bloom syndrome homolog RECQ4A and the ATPase RAD5A, which is involved in error-free post-replicative repair. Mutations in both FAN1 and the endonuclease MUS81 resulted in greater sensitivity against CLs than in the respective single mutants. These results indicate that the two nucleases define two independent pathways of CL repair in plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / physiology*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA Repair / physiology*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA Primers