Coordinated action of the Fanconi anemia and ataxia telangiectasia pathways in response to oxidative damage

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Fanconi anemia (FA) and ataxia telangiectasia (AT) share common traits such chromosomal instability and proneness to hematological cancers. Both AT and FA cell lines, and patients, are characterized by abnormally high levels of oxidative stress markers. The key FA protein FANCD2 is phosphorylated on Ser 222 by ATM after ionizing radiation (IR), thus allowing normal activation of the S-phase checkpoint, and ATM cells are known to be hypersensitive to oxidative damage. In this work we show that FANCD2 deficient cells have a defective S-phase checkpoint after Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) induced oxidative damage. ATM dependent phosphorylation of FANCD2 at the S222 residue is necessary for normal S-phase checkpoint activation after oxidative stress, while FANCD2 monoubiquitination at K561 is dispensable. We also show that FANCD2 is not required for base excision repair of 8-oxoG and other DNA lesions (abasic sites, uracils), while treatments that exclusively induce 8-oxoG, but not DNA double strand breaks, fail to activate FANCD2 monoubiquitination, thus indicating that the known accumulation of 8-oxoG in FA cells reflects an overproduction of ROS rather than defective processing of oxidized bases.We conclude that the handling of DNA damage after H2O2-induced oxidative stress requires the coordinated action of FANCD2 and ATM. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-525
JournalDNA Repair
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2011


  • ATM
  • DNA repair
  • Fanconi anemia
  • Oxidative damage


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