The inability to protect stalled replication forks from nucleolytic degradation drives genome instability and underlies chemosensitivity in BRCA-deficient tumors. An emerging hallmark of BRCA-deficiency is the inability to suppress replication-associated single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) gaps. Here, we report that lagging strand ssDNA gaps interfere with the ASF1-CAF-1 nucleosome assembly pathway, and drive fork degradation in BRCA-deficient cells. We show that CAF-1 function at replication forks is lost in BRCA-deficient cells, due to defects in its recycling during replication stress. This CAF-1 recycling defect is caused by lagging strand gaps which preclude PCNA unloading, causing sequestration of PCNA-CAF-1 complexes on chromatin. Importantly, correcting PCNA unloading defects in BRCA-deficient cells restores CAF-1-dependent fork stability. We further show that the activation of a HIRA-dependent compensatory histone deposition pathway restores fork stability to BRCA-deficient cells. We thus define lagging strand gap suppression and nucleosome assembly as critical enablers of BRCA-mediated fork stability.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Chemistry
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Physics and Astronomy