Live-cell imaging of endogenous CSB-mScarletI as a sensitive marker for DNA-damage-induced transcription stress

Di Zhou, Qing Yu, Roel C. Janssens, Jurgen A. Marteijn*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Transcription by RNA polymerase II (RNA Pol II) is crucial for cellular function, but DNA damage severely impedes this process. Thus far, transcription-blocking DNA lesions (TBLs) and their repair have been difficult to quantify in living cells. To overcome this, we generated, using CRISPR-Cas9-mediated gene editing, mScarletI-tagged Cockayne syndrome group B protein (CSB) and UV-stimulated scaffold protein A (UVSSA) knockin cells. These cells allowed us to study the binding dynamics of CSB and UVSSA to lesion-stalled RNA Pol II using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP). We show that especially CSB mobility is a sensitive transcription stress marker at physiologically relevant DNA damage levels. Transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair (TC-NER)-mediated repair can be assessed by studying CSB immobilization over time. Additionally, flow cytometry reveals the regulation of CSB protein levels by CRL4CSA-mediated ubiquitylation and deubiquitylation by USP7. This approach allows the sensitive detection of TBLs and their repair and the study of TC-NER complex assembly and stability in living cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100674
JournalCell Reports Methods
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2024

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