Lévesque N, Leung GP, Fok AK, Schmidt TI, Kobor MS
Genomic integrity is maintained by the coordinated interaction of many DNA damage response pathways, including checkpoints, DNA repair processes, and cell cycle restart. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the BRCA1 C-terminal domain-containing protein Rtt107/Esc4 is required for restart of DNA replication after successful repair of DNA damage and for cellular resistance to DNA-damaging agents. Rtt107 and its interaction partner Slx4 are phosphorylated during the initial phase of DNA damage response by the checkpoint kinases Mec1 and Tel1. Because the natural chromatin template plays an important role during the DNA damage response, we tested whether chromatin modifications affected the requirement for Rtt107 and Slx4 during DNA damage repair. Here, we report that the sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents of rtt107Δ and slx4Δ mutants was rescued by inactivation of the chromatin regulatory pathway leading to H3 K79 trimethylation. Further analysis revealed that lack of Dot1, the H3 K79 methyltransferase, led to activation of the translesion synthesis pathway, thereby allowing the survival in the presence of DNA damage. The DNA damage-induced phosphorylation of Rtt107 and Slx4, which was mutually dependent, was not restored in the absence of Dot1. The antagonistic relationship between Rtt107 and Dot1 was specific for DNA damage-induced phenotypes, whereas the genomic instability caused by loss of Rtt107 was not rescued. These data revealed a multifaceted functional relationship between Rtt107 and Dot1 in the DNA damage response and maintenance of genome integrity.