3 years ago

FANCM-family branchpoint translocases remove co-transcriptional R-loops

Dunn, van Twest, S., Hodson, V. J., Deans, C., Murphy, A. J., J. J., O'Rourke, E.
Co-transcriptional R-loops arise from physiological or aberrant stalling of RNA polymerase, leading to formation of stable DNA:RNA hybrids. Unresolved R-loops can promote genome instability. Here, we show that the Fanconi anemia- and breast cancer-associated FANCM protein can directly unwind DNA-RNA hybrids from co-transcriptional R-loops in vitro. FANCM processively unwinds both short and long R-loops, irrespective of sequence, topology or coating by replication protein A. R-loops can also be unwound in the same assay by the yeast and bacterial orthologs of FANCM, Mph1 and RecG, indicating an evolutionary conserved function. Consistent with this biochemical activity of FANCM, we show that FANCM deficient cells are sensitive to drugs that stabilize R-loop formation. Our work reveals a mechanistic basis for R-loop metabolism that is critical for genome stability.

Publisher URL: http://biorxiv.org/cgi/content/short/248161v1

DOI: 10.1101/248161

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