BRU1, a novel link between responses to DNA damage and epigenetic gene silencing in Arabidopsis

Takeda, S.; Tadele, Z.; Hofmann, I.; Probst, A. V.; Angelis, Karel; Kaya, H.; Araki, T.; Mengiste, T.; Scheid, O. M.; Shibahara, K.; Scheel, D.; Paszkowski, J.
GENES AND DEVELOPMENT 18 [7]: 782-793, 2004

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; DNA repair; epigenetic inheritance
Abstract: DNA repair associated with DNA replication is important for the conservation of genomic sequence information, whereas reconstitution of chromatin after replication sustains epigenetic information. We have isolated and characterized mutations in the BRU1 gene of Arabidopsis that suggest a novel link between these underlying maintenance mechanisms. Brul plants are highly sensitive to genotoxic stress and show stochastic release of transcriptional gene silencing. They also show increased intrachromosomal homologous recombination and constitutively activated expression of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-2 (AtPARP-2), the induction of which is associated with elevated DNA damage. Brul mutations affect the stability of heterochromatin organization but do not interfere with genome-wide DNA methylation. BRU1 encodes a novel nuclear protein with two predicted protein-protein interaction domains. The developmental abnormalities characteristic of brul mutant plants resemble those triggered by mutations in genes encoding subunits of chromatin assembly factor (CAF-1), the condensin complex, or MRE11. Comparison of brul with these mutants indicates cooperative roles in the replication and stabilization of chromatin structure, providing a novel link between chromatin replication, epigenetic inheritance, S-phase DNA damage checkpoints, and the regulation of meristem development.
IEB authors: Karel J. Angelis