PHF11 promotes DSB resection, ATR signaling, and HR

Yi Gong, Naofumi Handa, Stephen C. Kowalczykowski, Titia de Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Resection of double-strand breaks (DSBs) plays a critical role in their detection and appropriate repair. The 3′ ssDNA protrusion formed through resection activates the ATR-dependent DNA damage response (DDR) and is required for DSB repair by homologous recombination (HR). Here we report that PHF11 (plant homeodomain finger 11) encodes a previously unknownDDRfactor involved in 5′ end resection,ATR signaling, and HR. PHF11 was identified based on its association with deprotected telomeres and localized to sites of DNA damage in S phase. Depletion of PHF11 diminished the ATR signaling response to telomere dysfunction and genome-wide DNA damage, reduced end resection at sites of DNA damage, resulted in compromised HR and misrejoining of S-phase DSBs, and increased the sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents. PHF11 interacted with the ssDNA-binding protein RPA and was found in a complex with several nucleases, including the 5′ dsDNA exonuclease EXO1. Biochemical experiments demonstrated that PHF11 stimulates EXO1 by overcoming its inhibition by RPA, suggesting that PHF11 acts (in part) by promoting 5′ end resection at RPA-bound sites of DNA damage. These findings reveal a role for PHF11 in DSB resection, DNA damage signaling, and DSB repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-58
Number of pages13
JournalGenes and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • ATR
  • DSB
  • EXO1
  • Homologous recombination
  • PHF11
  • Resection
  • RPA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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