The USP1-UAF1 complex interacts with RAD51AP1 to promote homologous recombination repair

Scott Cukras, Euiho Lee, Emily Palumbo, Pamela Benavidez, George Lucian Moldovan, Younghoon Kee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


USP1 deubiquitinating enzyme and its stoichiometric binding partner UAF1 play an essential role in promoting DNA homologous recombination (HR) repair in response to various types of DNA damaging agents. Deubiquitination of FANCD2 may be attributed to the key role of USP1-UAF1 complex in regulating HR repair, however whether USP1-UAF1 promotes HR repair independently of FANCD2 deubiquitination is not known. Here we show evidence that the USP1-UAF1 complex has a FANCD2-independent function in promoting HR repair. Proteomic search of UAF1-interacting proteins revealed that UAF1 associates with RAD51AP1, a RAD51-interacting protein implicated in HR repair. We show that UAF1 mediates the interaction between USP1 and RAD51AP1, and that depletion of USP1 or UAF1 led to a decreased stability of RAD51AP1. Protein interaction mapping analysis identified some key residues within RAD51AP1 required for interacting with the USP1-UAF1 complex. Cells expressing the UAF1 interaction-deficient mutant of RAD51AP1 show increased chromosomal aberrations in response to Mitomycin C treatment. Moreover, similar to the RAD51AP1 depleted cells, the cells expressing UAF1-interaction deficient RAD51AP1 display persistent RAD51 foci following DNA damage exposure, indicating that these factors regulate a later step during the HR repair. These data altogether suggest that the USP1-UAF1 complex promotes HR repair via multiple mechanisms: through FANCD2 deubiquitination, as well as by interacting with RAD51AP1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2636-2646
Number of pages11
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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