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Relocation of rDNA repeats for repair is dependent on SUMO-mediated nucleolar release by the Cdc48/p97 segregase

By Matias Capella, Imke K. Mandemaker, Fabian den Brave, Lucia Martin Caballero, Boris Pfander, Andreas G. Ladurner, Stefan Jentsch, Sigurd Braun

Posted 06 Jan 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.01.05.425376

Ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) are highly unstable and susceptible to rearrangement due to active transcription and their repetitive nature. Compartmentalization of rDNA in the nucleolus suppresses uncontrolled recombination. However, broken repeats must be released to the nucleoplasm to allow repair by homologous recombination. The process of rDNA relocation is conserved from yeast to humans, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are currently unknown. Here we show that DNA damage induces phosphorylation of the CLIP-cohibin complex, releasing membrane-tethered rDNA from the nucleolus in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Downstream of phosphorylation, SUMOylation targets CLIP-cohibin for disassembly mediated by the Cdc48/p97 chaperone, which recognizes SUMOylated CLIP-cohibin through its cofactor, Ufd1. Consistent with a conserved mechanism, UFD1L depletion impairs rDNA release in human cells. The dynamic and regulated assembly and disassembly of the rDNA- tethering complex is therefore a key determinant of nucleolar rDNA release and genome integrity.

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