Nature 2018 07 18() doi 10.1038/s41586-018-0324-7


In DNA repair, the resection of double-strand breaks dictates the choice between homology-directed repair-which requires a 3′ overhang-and classical non-homologous end joining, which can join unresected ends. BRCA1-mutant cancers show minimal resection of double-strand breaks, which renders them deficient in homology-directed repair and sensitive to inhibitors of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1). When BRCA1 is absent, the resection of double-strand breaks is thought to be prevented by 53BP1, RIF1 and the REV7-SHLD1-SHLD2-SHLD3 (shieldin) complex, and loss of these factors diminishes sensitivity to PARP1 inhibitors. Here we address the mechanism by which 53BP1-RIF1-shieldin regulates the generation of recombinogenic 3′ overhangs. We report that CTC1-STN1-TEN1 (CST), a complex similar to replication protein A that functions as an accessory factor of polymerase-α (Polα)-primase, is a downstream effector in the 53BP1 pathway. CST interacts with shieldin and localizes with Polα to sites of DNA damage in a 53BP1- and shieldin-dependent manner. As with loss of 53BP1, RIF1 or shieldin, the depletion of CST leads to increased resection. In BRCA1-deficient cells, CST blocks RAD51 loading and promotes the efficacy of PARP1 inhibitors. In addition, Polα inhibition diminishes the effect of PARP1 inhibitors. These data suggest that CST-Polα-mediated fill-in helps to control the repair of double-strand breaks by 53BP1, RIF1 and shieldin.