Strategies to resolve replication blocks are critical for the maintenance of genome stability. Among the factors implicated in the replication stress response is the ATP-dependent endonuclease ZRANB3. Here, we present the structure of the ZRANB3 HNH (His-Asn-His) endonuclease domain and provide a detailed analysis of its activity. We further define PCNA as a key regulator of ZRANB3 function, which recruits ZRANB3 to stalled replication forks and stimulates its endonuclease activity. Finally, we present the co-crystal structures of PCNA with two specific motifs in ZRANB3: the PIP box and the APIM motif. Our data provide important structural insights into the PCNA-APIM interaction, and reveal unexpected similarities between the PIP box and the APIM motif. We propose that PCNA and ATP-dependency serve as a multi-layered regulatory mechanism that modulates ZRANB3 activity at replication forks. Importantly, our findings allow us to interpret the functional significance of cancer associated ZRANB3 mutations.
- Department of Biological and Geographical Sciences - Senior Lecturer
- School of Applied Sciences
- Centre for Biomarker Research - Associate Member
- Cellular and Molecular Models of Disease Centre - Member
- Structural, Molecular and Dynamic Modelling Centre