Regulation of ALT-associated homology-directed repair by polyADP-ribosylation

Published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, 2020

Recommended citation: Hoang SM, Kaminski N, Bhargava R, Barroso-González J, Lynskey ML, García-Expósito L, Roncaioli JL, Wondisford AR, Wallace CT, Watkins SC, James DI, Waddell ID, Ogilvie D, Smith KM, da Veiga Leprevost F, Mellacharevu D, Nesvizhskii AI, Li J, Ray-Gallet D, Sobol RW, Almouzni G, O'Sullivan RJ. Regulation of ALT-associated homology-directed repair by polyADP-ribosylation. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2020 Oct 12. doi: 10.1038/s41594-020-0512-7. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33046907.

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The synthesis of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) reconfigures the local chromatin environment and recruits DNA-repair complexes to damaged chromatin. PAR degradation by poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase (PARG) is essential for progression and completion of DNA repair. Here, we show that inhibition of PARG disrupts homology-directed repair (HDR) mechanisms that underpin alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). Proteomic analyses uncover a new role for poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation (PARylation) in regulating the chromatin-assembly factor HIRA in ALT cancer cells. We show that HIRA is enriched at telomeres during the G2 phase and is required for histone H3.3 deposition and telomere DNA synthesis. Depletion of HIRA elicits systemic death of ALT cancer cells that is mitigated by re-expression of ATRX, a protein that is frequently inactivated in ALT tumors. We propose that PARylation enables HIRA to fulfill its essential role in the adaptive response to ATRX deficiency that pervades ALT cancers.