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Steve Jackson

Maintenance of genome stability

Our work focuses on the DNA damage response (DDR): the set of events that optimises cell survival by detecting DNA damage, signalling its presence and mediating its repair.  The importance of the DDR is underscored by defects in it’s being associated with various pathologies, including neurodegenerative disease, immunodeficiency, premature ageing, infertility and cancer (1).

By working with both yeast and human cells, we are identifying new DDR factors, defining the functions of known DDR components, assessing how the DDR is affected by chromatin structure, and learning how DDR events are regulated.  Much of this work is focused on how the DDR is controlled by protein post-translational modifications (PTMs; 2).  For example, we have established that the mammalian SUMO E3 ligases PIAS1 and PIAS4 accumulate at DSB sites and promote cellular responses to DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) by mediating SUMOylation of various DDR factors (3).  Furthermore, we recently discovered that the histone deacetylase enzymes HDAC1 and HDAC2 accumulate at DSB sites to facilitate repair by non-homologous end-joining (4).  Our current work is geared towards further defining the mechanisms of the DDR particularly within the context of chromatin, and the role that PTMs have in controlling this key biological response.

Lab members: Pallavi Agarwal, Gabriel Balmus, Linda Baskcomb, Rimma Belotserkovskaya, Andrew Blackford, Jessica Brown, Will Chiang, Julia Coates, Matt Cornwell, Muku Demir, Kate Dry, Josep Forment, Yaron Galanty, Nicola Geisler, Mareike Herzog, Sati Jhujh, Delphine Larrieu, Natalia Lukashchuk, Ryotaro Nishi, Fabio Puddu, Helen Reed, Carlos le Sage, Israel Salguero, Christine Schmidt, Matylda Sczaniecka-Clift, Jon Travers, David Weismann, Paul Wijnhoven

Visit group website at the Gurdon Institute

Key publications:

1. Britton S, Coates J, Jackson SP. (2013) A new method for high-resolution imaging of Ku foci to decipher mechanisms of DNA double-strand break repair. J. Cell Biol. 202, 579-595.

2. Kaidi A, Jackson SP. (2013) KAT5 tyrosine phosphorylation couples chromatin sensing to ATM signalling. Nature 498, 70-74.

3. Jackson SP, Durocher D. (2013) Regulation of DNA Damage Responses by Ubiquitin and SUMO. Mol. Cell 49, 795-807.

4. Galanty Y, Belotserkovskaya R, Coates J, Jackson SP. (2012) RNF4, a SUMO-targeted ubiquitin E3 ligase, promotes DNA double-strand break repair. Genes Dev. 26, 1179-95.

5. Polo SE, Blackford AN, Chapman JR, Baskcomb L, Gravel S, Rusch A, Thomas A, Blundred R, Smith P, Kzhyshkowska J, Dobner T, Taylor AMR, Turnell AS, Stewart GS, Grand RJ, Jackson SP (2012) Regulation of DNA-End Resection by hnRNPU-like proteins promotes DNA double-strand break signaling and repair. Mol Cell 45(4), 505-516.

6. Rodriguez R, Miller KM, Forment JV, Bradshaw CR, Nikan M, Britton S, Oelschlaegel T, Xhemalce B, Balasubramanian S, Jackson SP (2012) Small-molecule-induced DNA damage identifies alternative DNA structures in human genes. Nat Chem Biol. 8, 301-10

7. Polo SE and Jackson SP. (2011) Dynamics of DNA damage response proteins at DNA breaks: a focus on protein modifications. Genes Dev. 25, 409-433.

8. Kaidi A, Weinert BT, Choudhary C, Jackson SP. (2010) Human SIRT6 promotes DNA end resection through CtIP deacetylation. Science 329, 1348-1353.

9. Jackson SP and Bartek J. (2009) The DNA damage response in human biology and disease. Nature 461, 1071-1078.

10. Galanty Y, Belotserkovskaya R, Coates J, Polo S, Miller KM, Jackson SP. (2009) Mammalian SUMO E3-ligases PIAS1 and PIAS4 promote responses to DNA double-strand breaks. Nature 462, 935-9.

11. Lloyd J*, Chapman JR*, Clapperton JA, Haire LF, Hartsuiker E, Li J, Carr AM, Jackson SP^, Smerdon SJ^. (2009) A supramodular FHA/BRCT-repeat architecture mediates Nbs1 adaptor function in response to DNA damage. Cell 139, 100-11. *These authors contributed equally to this work. ^Co-corresponding authors.

12. Huertas P, Cortés-Ledesma F, Sartori AA, Aguilera A, Jackson SP. (2008) CDK targets Sae2 to control DNA-end resection and homologous recombination. Nature 455: 689-692.