Rad53 regulates the lifetime of Rdh54 at homologous recombination intermediates

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Rdh54 is a conserved DNA translocase that participates in homologous recombination (HR), DNA checkpoint adaptation, and chromosome segregation. Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rdh54 is a known target of the Mec1/Rad53 signaling axis, which globally protects genome integrity during DNA metabolism. While phosphorylation of DNA repair proteins by Mec1/Rad53 is critical for HR progression little is known about how specific post translational modifications alter HR reactions. Phosphorylation of Rdh54 is linked to protection of genomic integrity but the consequences of modification remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that phosphorylation of the Rdh54 C-terminus by the effector kinase Rad53 regulates Rdh54 clustering activity as revealed by single molecule imaging. This stems from phosphorylation dependent and independent interactions between Rdh54 and Rad53. Genetic assays reveal that loss of phosphorylation leads to phenotypic changes resulting in loss-of-heterozygosity (LOH) outcomes. Our data highlight Rad53 as a key regulator of HR intermediates through activation and attenuation of Rdh54 motor function.

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