The RecQ helicase Sgs1 plays critical roles during DNA repair by homologous recombination, from end resection to Holliday junction (HJ) dissolution. Sgs1 has both pro- and anti-recombinogenic roles, and therefore its activity must be tightly regulated. However, the controls involved in recruitment and activation of Sgs1 at damaged sites are unknown. Here we show a two-step role for Smc5/6 in recruiting and activating Sgs1 through SUMOylation. First, auto-SUMOylation of Smc5/6 subunits leads to recruitment of Sgs1 as part of the STR (Sgs1-Top3-Rmi1) complex, mediated by two SUMO-interacting motifs (SIMs) on Sgs1 that specifically recognize SUMOylated Smc5/6. Second, Smc5/6-dependent SUMOylation of Sgs1 and Top3 is required for the efficient function of STR. Sgs1 mutants impaired in recognition of SUMOylated Smc5/6 (sgs1-SIMΔ) or SUMO-dead alleles (sgs1-KR) exhibit unprocessed HJs at damaged replication forks, increased crossover frequencies during double-strand break repair, and severe impairment in DNA end resection. Smc5/6 is a key regulator of Sgs1's recombination functions.
Keywords: Sgs1–Top3; Smc complexes; Smc5/6; genome stability; homologous recombination.
© 2016 Bermúdez-López et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.