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Map of synthetic rescue interactions for the Fanconi anemia DNA repair pathway identifies USP48

Velimezi G, Robinson-Garcia L, Muñoz-Martínez F, Wiegant WW, Ferreira da Silva J, Owusu M, Moder M, Wiedner M, Rosenthal SB, Fisch KM, Moffat J, Menche J, Van Attikum H, Jackson SP and Loizou JI. (2018)

Nature Communications 9, Article number 2280

Defects in DNA repair can cause various genetic diseases with severe pathological phenotypes. Fanconi anemia (FA) is a rare disease characterized by bone marrow failure, developmental abnormalities, and increased cancer risk that is caused by defective repair of DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs). Here, we identify the deubiquitylating enzyme USP48 as synthetic viable for FA-gene deficiencies by performing genome-wide loss-of-function screens across a panel of human haploid isogenic FA-defective cells (FANCA, FANCC, FANCG, FANCI, FANCD2). Thus, as compared to FA-defective cells alone, FA-deficient cells additionally lacking USP48 are less sensitive to genotoxic stress induced by ICL agents and display enhanced, BRCA1-dependent, clearance of DNA damage. Consequently, USP48 inactivation reduces chromosomal instability of FA-defective cells. Our results highlight a role for USP48 in controlling DNA repair and suggest it as a potential target that could be therapeutically exploited for FA.

Kate Dry