Induction of DNA damage leads to a choreographed set of local chromatin changes that ensures an efficient recruitment of DNA repair factors. One principal regulator of the DNA Damage Response (DDR) signaling pathway is ATM kinase, which phosphorylates key factors at early stages of the response. G9a protein methyltransferase has been identified as a novel substrate for ATM. We have found that G9a localizes to sites of DNA damage in an ATM-dependent fashion and that inhibition of its activity affects recruitment of multiple DNA repair factors. Moreover G9a catalytic inhibition using UNC0638 leads to hyperactivation of ATM induced by DNA breaks. This was associated with an increased ATM-dependent “spreading” of pH2AX and MDC1 signals seen at regions of localized DNA breaks induced by UV-laser scissors. These data suggest that G9a activity is required for regulating the extent of ATM activation as well as for efficient recruitment of downstream DNA repair factors. Biochemical data will be presented that explore potential mechanisms for these findings. Overall our data suggests that G9a plays a critical role in the regulation of ATM-dependent signaling during the DNA damage response, and raises the possibility of using G9a inhibitors to target cancers with certain DNA repair defects.

Citation Format: Lizahira Rodriguez-Colon, Vasudeva Ginjala, Atul Kulkarni, Safia Ansari, Shridar Ganesan. G9a methyltransferase plays a role in ATM-dependent DNA damage response [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 1418. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-1418