MYBL2 and ATM suppress replication stress in pluripotent stem cells

Daniel Blakemore, Nuria Vilaplana-Lopera, Ruba Almaghrabi, Elena Gonzalez, Miriam Moya, Carl Ward, George Murphy, Agnieszka Gambus, Eva Petermann, Grant S Stewart, Paloma García

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Replication stress, a major cause of genome instability in cycling cells, is mainly prevented by the ATR-dependent replication stress response pathway in somatic cells. However, the replication stress response pathway in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) may be different due to alterations in cell cycle phase length. The transcription factor MYBL2, which is implicated in cell cycle regulation, is expressed a hundred to a thousand-fold more in ESCs compared with somatic cells. Here we show that MYBL2 activates ATM and suppresses replication stress in ESCs. Consequently, loss of MYBL2 or inhibition of ATM or Mre11 in ESCs results in replication fork slowing, increased fork stalling and elevated origin firing. Additionally, we demonstrate that inhibition of CDC7 activity rescues replication stress induced by MYBL2 loss and ATM inhibition, suggesting that uncontrolled new origin firing may underlie the replication stress phenotype resulting from loss/inhibition of MYBL2 and ATM. Overall, our study proposes that in addition to ATR, a MYBL2-MRN-ATM replication stress response pathway functions in ESCs to control DNA replication initiation and prevent genome instability.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere51120
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number5
Early online date28 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Mar 2021


  • B-MYB
  • DNA damage
  • ESCs
  • iPSC
  • origin firing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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