SMC5/6 complex-mediated SUMOylation stimulates DNA–protein cross-link repair in Arabidopsis

Tomaštíková, E.D., Procházková, K., Yang, F., Jemelková, J., Finke, A., Dorn, A., Said, M., Puchta, H., Pečinka, A
The Plant Cell


DNA–protein cross-links (DPCs) are highly toxic DNA lesions consisting of proteins covalently attached to chromosomal DNA. Unrepaired DPCs physically block DNA replication and transcription. Three DPC repair pathways have been identified in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) to date: the endonucleolytic cleavage of DNA by the structure-specific endonuclease MUS81; proteolytic degradation of the crosslinked protein by the metalloprotease WSS1A; and cleavage of the cross-link phosphodiester bonds by the tyrosyl phosphodiesterases TDP1 and TDP2. Here we describe the evolutionary conserved STRUCTURAL MAINTENANCE OF CHROMOSOMEs SMC5/6 complex as a crucial component involved in DPC repair. We identified multiple alleles of the SMC5/6 complex core subunit gene SMC6B via a forward-directed genetic screen designed to identify the factors involved in the repair of DPCs induced by the cytidine analog zebularine. We monitored plant growth and cell death in response to DPC-inducing chemicals, which revealed that the SMC5/6 complex is essential for the repair of several types of DPCs. Genetic interaction and sensitivity assays showed that the SMC5/6 complex works in parallel to the endonucleolytic and proteolytic pathways. The repair of zebularine-induced DPCs was associated with SMC5/6-dependent SUMOylation of the damage sites. Thus, we present the SMC5/6 complex as an important factor in plant DPC repair.