14-3-3 proteins restrain the Exo1 nuclease to prevent overresection

J Biol Chem. 2015 May 8;290(19):12300-12. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.644005. Epub 2015 Apr 1.


The DNA end resection process dictates the cellular response to DNA double strand break damage and is essential for genome maintenance. Although insufficient DNA resection hinders homology-directed repair and ATR (ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3 related)-dependent checkpoint activation, overresection produces excessive single-stranded DNA that could lead to genomic instability. However, the mechanisms controlling DNA end resection are poorly understood. Here we show that the major resection nuclease Exo1 is regulated both positively and negatively by protein-protein interactions to ensure a proper level of DNA resection. We have shown previously that the sliding DNA clamp proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) associates with the C-terminal domain of Exo1 and promotes Exo1 damage association and DNA resection. In this report, we show that 14-3-3 proteins interact with a central region of Exo1 and negatively regulate Exo1 damage recruitment and subsequent resection. 14-3-3s limit Exo1 damage association, at least in part, by suppressing its association with PCNA. Disruption of the Exo1 interaction with 14-3-3 proteins results in elevated sensitivity of cells to DNA damage. Unlike Exo1, the Dna2 resection pathway is apparently not regulated by PCNA and 14-3-3s. Our results provide critical insights into the mechanism and regulation of the DNA end resection process and may have implications for cancer treatment.

Keywords: 14-3-3 protein; DNA damage response; DNA repair; DNA resection; Exo1; checkpoint control; proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 14-3-3 Proteins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Survival
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded*
  • DNA Repair
  • Exodeoxyribonucleases / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Mutation
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Xenopus


  • 14-3-3 Proteins
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • DNA
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Exodeoxyribonucleases
  • exodeoxyribonuclease I