BRUCE regulates DNA double-strand break response by promoting USP8 deubiquitination of BRIT1 Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded
  • Endopeptidases
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport
  • Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase
  • Ubiquitination


  • The DNA damage response (DDR) is crucial for genomic integrity. BRIT1 (breast cancer susceptibility gene C terminus-repeat inhibitor of human telomerase repeat transcriptase expression), a tumor suppressor and early DDR factor, is recruited to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by phosphorylated H2A histone family, member X (γ-H2AX), where it promotes chromatin relaxation by recruiting the switch/sucrose nonfermentable (SWI-SNF) chromatin remodeler to facilitate DDR. However, regulation of BRIT1 recruitment is not fully understood. The baculovirus IAP repeat (BIR)-containing ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (BRUCE) is an inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP). Here, we report a non-IAP function of BRUCE in the regulation of the BRIT1-SWI-SNF DSB-response pathway and genomic stability. We demonstrate that BRIT1 is K63 ubiquitinated in unstimulated cells and that deubiquitination of BRIT1 is a prerequisite for its recruitment to DSB sites by γ-H2AX. We show mechanistically that BRUCE acts as a scaffold, bridging the ubiquitin-specific peptidase 8 (USP8) and BRIT1 in a complex to coordinate USP8-catalyzed deubiquitination of BRIT1. Loss of BRUCE or USP8 impairs BRIT1 deubiquitination, BRIT1 binding with γ-H2AX, the formation of BRIT1 DNA damage foci, and chromatin relaxation. Moreover, BRUCE-depleted cells display reduced homologous recombination repair, and BRUCE-mutant mice exhibit repair defects and genomic instability. These findings identify BRUCE and USP8 as two hitherto uncharacterized critical DDR regulators and uncover a deubiquitination regulation of BRIT1 assembly at damaged chromatin for efficient DDR and genomic stability.

publication date

  • March 17, 2015



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC4371995

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1418335112

PubMed ID

  • 25733871

Additional Document Info

start page

  • E1210

end page

  • 9


  • 112


  • 11