CARM1 regulates replication fork speed and stress response by stimulating PARP1

Marie Michelle Genois, Jean Philippe Gagné, Takaaki Yasuhara, Jessica Jackson, Sneha Saxena, Marie France Langelier, Ivan Ahel, Mark T. Bedford, John M. Pascal, Alessandro Vindigni, Guy G. Poirier, Lee Zou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


DNA replication forks use multiple mechanisms to deal with replication stress, but how the choice of mechanisms is made is still poorly understood. Here, we show that CARM1 associates with replication forks and reduces fork speed independently of its methyltransferase activity. The speeding of replication forks in CARM1-deficient cells requires RECQ1, which resolves reversed forks, and RAD18, which promotes translesion synthesis. Loss of CARM1 reduces fork reversal and increases single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) gaps but allows cells to tolerate higher replication stress. Mechanistically, CARM1 interacts with PARP1 and promotes PARylation at replication forks. In vitro, CARM1 stimulates PARP1 activity by enhancing its DNA binding and acts jointly with HPF1 to activate PARP1. Thus, by stimulating PARP1, CARM1 slows replication forks and promotes the use of fork reversal in the stress response, revealing that CARM1 and PARP1 function as a regulatory module at forks to control fork speed and the choice of stress response mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784-800.e8
JournalMolecular cell
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 18 2021


  • CARM1
  • PARP1
  • PARylation
  • PrimPol
  • RECQ1
  • fork reversal
  • fork speed
  • replication fork
  • replication stress
  • translesion synthesis


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