Research ArticleCELL BIOLOGY

MRNIP is a replication fork protection factor

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Science Advances  10 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 28, eaba5974
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba5974

Abstract

The remodeling of stalled replication forks to form four-way DNA junctions is an important component of the replication stress response. Nascent DNA at the regressed arms of these reversed forks is protected by RAD51 and the tumor suppressors BRCA1/2, and when this function is compromised, stalled forks undergo pathological MRE11-dependent degradation, leading to chromosomal instability. However, the mechanisms regulating MRE11 functions at reversed forks are currently unclear. Here, we identify the MRE11-binding protein MRNIP as a novel fork protection factor that directly binds to MRE11 and specifically represses its exonuclease activity. The loss of MRNIP results in impaired replication fork progression, MRE11 exonuclease–dependent degradation of reversed forks, persistence of underreplicated genomic regions, chemosensitivity, and chromosome instability. Our findings identify MRNIP as a novel regulator of MRE11 at reversed forks and provide evidence that regulation of specific MRE11 nuclease activities ensures protection of nascent DNA and thereby genome integrity.

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