Ph.D. Baylor College of Medicine Post-doc:Columbia University
Human Mps1 (hMps1) is a protein kinase essential for mitotic checkpoints and the DNA damage response. Here, we present new evidence that hMps1 also participates in the repair of oxidative DNA lesions and cell survival through the MDM2-H2B axis. In response to oxidative stress, hMps1 phosphorylates MDM2, which in turn promotes histone H2B ubiquitination and chromatin decompaction. These events facilitate oxidative DNA damage repair and ATR-CHK1, but not ATM-CHK2 signaling. Depletion of hMps1 or MDM2 compromised H2B ubiquitination, DNA repair and cell survival. The impairment could be rescued by re-expression of WT but not the phospho-deficient MDM2 mutant, supporting the involvement of hMps1-dependent MDM2 phosphorylation in the oxidative stress response. In line with these findings, localization of RPA and base excision repair proteins to damage foci also requires MDM2 and hMps1. Significantly, like MDM2, hMps1 is upregulated in human sarcoma, suggesting high hMps1 and MDM2 expression may be beneficial for tumors constantly challenged by an oxidative micro-environment. Our study therefore identified an hMps1-MDM2-H2B signaling axis that likely plays a relevant role in tumor progression.