Checkpoint activation after DNA damage causes a transient cell cycle arrest by suppressing cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). However, it remains largely elusive how cell cycle recovery is initiated after DNA damage. In this study, we discovered the upregulated protein level of MASTL kinase hours after DNA damage. MASTL promotes cell cycle progression by preventing PP2A/B55-catalyzed dephosphorylation of CDK substrates. DNA damage-induced MASTL upreg-ulation was caused by decreased protein degradation, and was unique among mitotic kinases. We identified E6AP as the E3 ubiquitin ligase that mediated MASTL degradation. MASTL degradation was inhibited upon DNA damage as a result of the dissociation of E6AP from MASTL. E6AP depletion reduced DNA damage signaling, and promoted cell cycle recovery from the DNA damage checkpoint, in a MASTL-dependent manner. Furthermore, we found that E6AP was phosphorylated at Ser-218 by ATM after DNA damage and that this phosphorylation was required for its dissociation from MASTL, the stabilization of MASTL, and the timely recovery of cell cycle progression. Together, our data revealed that ATM/ATR-dependent signaling, while activating the DNA damage check-point, also initiates cell cycle recovery from the arrest. Consequently, this results in a timer-like mechanism that ensures the transient nature of the DNA damage checkpoint.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberRP86976
StatePublished - 2023


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