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Cell & Molecular Biology


Transcription–replication (T–R) conflicts are profound threats to genome integrity. However, whilst much is known about the existence of T–R conflicts, our understanding of the genetic and temporal nature of how cells respond to them is poorly established. Here, we address this by characterizing the early cellular response to transient T–R conflicts (TRe). This response specifically requires the DNA recombination repair proteins BLM and BRCA2 as well as a non-canonical monoubiquitylation-independent function of FANCD2. A hallmark of the TRe response is the rapid co-localization of these three DNA repair factors at sites of T–R collisions. We find that the TRe response relies on basal activity of the ATR kinase, yet it does not lead to hyperactivation of this key checkpoint protein. Furthermore, specific abrogation of the TRe response leads to DNA damage in mitosis, and promotes chromosome instability and cell death. Collectively our findings identify a new role for these well-established tumor suppressor proteins at an early stage of the cellular response to conflicts between DNA transcription and replication.

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Creative Commons License
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