DNA damage must be repaired in an accurate and timely fashion to preserve genome stability. Cellular mechanisms preventing genome instability are crucial to human health because genome instability is considered a hallmark of cancer. Collectively referred to as the DNA damage response, conserved pathways ensure proper DNA damage recognition and repair. The function of numerous DNA damage response components is fine-tuned by posttranslational modifications, including ubiquitination. This not only involves the enzyme cascade responsible for conjugating ubiquitin to substrates but also requires enzymes that mediate directed removal of ubiquitin. Deubiquitinases remove ubiquitin from substrates to prevent degradation or to mediate signaling functions. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae deubiquitinase Ubp7 has been characterized previously as an endocytic factor. However, here we identify Ubp7 as a novel factor affecting S phase progression after hydroxyurea treatment and demonstrate an evolutionary and genetic interaction of Ubp7 with DNA damage repair pathways of homologous recombination and nucleotide excision repair. We find that deletion of UBP7 sensitizes cells to hydroxyurea and cisplatin and demonstrate that factors that stabilize replication forks are critical under these conditions. Furthermore, ubp7Δ cells exhibit an S phase progression defect upon checkpoint activation by hydroxyurea treatment. ubp7Δ mutants are epistatic to factors involved in histone maintenance and modification, and we find that a subset of Ubp7 is chromatin-associated. In summary, our results suggest that Ubp7 contributes to S phase progression by affecting the chromatin state at replication forks, and we propose histone H2B ubiquitination as a potential substrate of Ubp7.
Keywords: DNA damage response; DNA replication; deubiquitination; deubiquitylation (deubiquitination); molecular evolution; yeast genetics.
© 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.