• ZRANB3 is a structure-specific ATP-dependent endonuclease involved in replication stress response.

      Weston, Ria; Peeters, Hanneke; Ahel, Dragana; DNA Damage Response Group, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, University of Manchester, Manchester M20 4BX, United Kingdom. (2012-07-15)
      To efficiently duplicate their genomic content, cells must overcome DNA lesions that interfere with processive DNA replication. These lesions may be removed and repaired, rather than just tolerated, to allow continuity of DNA replication on an undamaged DNA template. However, it is unclear how this is achieved at a molecular level. Here we identify a new replication-associated factor, ZRANB3 (zinc finger, RAN-binding domain containing 3), and propose its role in the repair of replication-blocking lesions. ZRANB3 has a unique structure-specific endonuclease activity, which is coupled to ATP hydrolysis. It cleaves branched DNA structures with unusual polarity, generating an accessible 3'-OH group in the template of the leading strand. Furthermore, ZRANB3 localizes to DNA replication sites and interacts with the components of the replication machinery. It is recruited to damaged replication forks via multiple mechanisms, which involve interactions with PCNA, K63-polyubiquitin chains, and branched DNA structures. Collectively, our data support a role for ZRANB3 in the replication stress response and suggest new insights into how DNA repair is coordinated with DNA replication to maintain genome stability.
    • β2-syntrophin and Par-3 promote an apicobasal Rac activity gradient at cell-cell junctions by differentially regulating Tiam1 activity.

      Mack, Natalie A; Porter, Andrew P; Whalley, Helen J; Schwarz, J; Jones, R; Khaja, A; Bjartell, A; Anderson, K; Malliri, Angeliki; Cell Signalling Group, Cancer Research UK Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, The University of Manchester, Manchester M20 4BX, UK. (2012-11)
      Although Rac and its activator Tiam1 are known to stimulate cell-cell adhesion, the mechanisms regulating their activity in cell-cell junction formation are poorly understood. Here, we identify β2-syntrophin as a Tiam1 interactor required for optimal cell-cell adhesion. We show that during tight-junction (TJ) assembly β2-syntrophin promotes Tiam1-Rac activity, in contrast to the function of the apical determinant Par-3 whose inhibition of Tiam1-Rac activity is necessary for TJ assembly. We further demonstrate that β2-syntrophin localizes more basally than Par-3 at cell-cell junctions, thus generating an apicobasal Rac activity gradient at developing cell-cell junctions. Targeting active Rac to TJs shows that this gradient is required for optimal TJ assembly and apical lumen formation. Consistently, β2-syntrophin depletion perturbs Tiam1 and Rac localization at cell-cell junctions and causes defects in apical lumen formation. We conclude that β2-syntrophin and Par-3 fine-tune Rac activity along cell-cell junctions controlling TJ assembly and the establishment of apicobasal polarity.