Microcephalin 1 (MCPH1) was identified from genetic mutations in patients with primary autosomal recessive microcephaly. In response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), MCPH1 forms damage-induced foci and recruits BRCA2–RAD51 complex, a key component of the DSB repair machinery for homologous recombination (HR), to damage sites. Accordingly, the efficiency of HR is significantly attenuated upon depletion of MCPH1. The biochemical characteristics of MCPH1 and its functional interaction with the HR machinery had remained unclear due to lack of highly purified MCPH1 recombinant protein for functional study. Here, we established a mammalian expression system to express and purify MCPH1 protein. We show that MCPH1 is a bona fide DNA-binding protein and provide direct biochemical analysis of this MCPH family protein. Furthermore, we reveal that MCPH1 directly interacts with RAD51 at multiple contact points, providing evidence for how MCPH1 physically engages with the HR machinery. Importantly, we demonstrate that MCPH1 enhances the stability of RAD51 on single-strand DNA, a prerequisite step for RAD51-mediated recombination. Single-molecule tethered particle motion analysis showed a ∼2-fold increase in the lifetime of RAD51–ssDNA filaments in the presence of MCPH1. Thus, our study demonstrates direct crosstalk between microcephaly protein MCPH1 and the recombination component RAD51 for DSB repair.
Dr. Peter Chi Lab：http://ibs.ntu.edu.tw/about/staffDetail/49
Dr. Hung-Wen Li Lab：https://www.ch.ntu.edu.tw/member/faculty/hwli/lang/en
Authors: Chang HY, Lee CY, Lu CH, Lee W, Yang HL, Yeh HY, Li HW*, Chi P*
Abstract from Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Jul 31; gkaa636.