Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)

The H2B ubiquitin ligase RNF40 cooperates with SUPT16H to induce dynamic changes in chromatin structure during DNA double-strand break repair.

PMID 22031019


Many anticancer therapies function largely by inducing DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) or altering the ability of cancer cells to repair them. Proper and timely DNA repair requires dynamic changes in chromatin assembly and disassembly characterized by histone H3 lysine 56 acetylation (H3K56ac) and phosphorylation of the variant histone H2AX (γH2AX). Similarly, histone H2B monoubiquitination (H2Bub1) functions in DNA repair, but its role in controlling dynamic changes in chromatin structure following DSBs and the histone chaperone complexes involved remain unknown. Therefore, we investigated the role of the H2B ubiquitin ligase RNF40 in the DSB response. We show that RNF40 depletion results in sustained H2AX phosphorylation and a decrease in rapid cell cycle checkpoint activation. Furthermore, RNF40 knockdown resulted in decreased H3K56ac and decreased recruitment of the facilitates chromatin transcription (FACT) complex to chromatin following DSB. Knockdown of the FACT component suppressor of Ty homolog-16 (SUPT16H) phenocopied the effects of RNF40 knockdown on both γH2AX and H3K56ac following DSB induction. Consistently, both RNF40 and SUPT16H were required for proper DNA end resection and timely DNA repair, suggesting that H2Bub1 and FACT cooperate to increase chromatin dynamics, which facilitates proper checkpoint activation and timely DNA repair. These results provide important mechanistic insights into the tumor suppressor function of H2Bub1 and provide a rational basis for pursuing H2Bub1-based therapies in conjunction with traditional chemo- and radiotherapy.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

Anti-SUPT16H antibody produced in rabbit, IgG fraction of antiserum