ERCC1/XPF Is Important for Repair of DNA Double-Strand Breaks Containing Secondary Structures

Shibo Li, Hongyan Lu, Zi Wang, Qing Hu, Hongjun Wang, Rong Xiang, Takuya Chiba, Xiaohua Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The structure-specific endonuclease ERCC1/XPF plays an important role in nucleotide excision repair and interstrand cross-link repair. In this study, we identified new functions of ERCC1/XPF in DNA double-strand break (DSB)repair. We found that the conserved function of ERCC1/XPF to remove non-homologous sequences at DSBs is a rate-limiting step for homologous recombination in mammalian cells, and more importantly, we uncovered an indispensable role of ERCC1/XPF in repair of DSBs containing DNA secondary structures, including the structure-prone AT-rich DNA sequences derived from common fragile sites and G-quadruplexes (G4s). We also demonstrated a synthetic lethal interaction of XPF with DNA translocase FANCM that is involved in removing DNA secondary structures. Furthermore, inactivation of XPF sensitizes FANCM-deficient cells to G4-interacting compounds. These results suggest an important function of ERCC1/XPF in protecting DNA secondary structures and provide a rationale for targeted treatment of FANCM-deficient tumors through inhibition of XPF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-78
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 28


  • Biological Sciences
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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