Acetylation regulates ribonucleotide reductase activity and cancer cell growth.

Ribonucleotide reductase R2 e coli

R2-subunit of the ribonucleotide reductase from E. coli

Chen G, Luo Y, Warncke K, Sun Y, Yu DS, Fu H, Behera M, Ramalingam SS, Doetsch PW, Duong DM, Lammers M, Curran WJ, Deng X.

Nature Communications

July 19, 2019

Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) catalyzes the de novo synthesis of deoxyribonucleoside diphosphates (dNDPs) to provide dNTP precursors for DNA synthesis. Here, we report that acetylation and deacetylation of the RRM2 subunit of RNR acts as a molecular switch that impacts RNR activity, dNTP synthesis, and DNA replication fork progression. Acetylation of RRM2 at K95 abrogates RNR activity by disrupting its homodimer assembly. RRM2 is directly acetylated by KAT7, and deacetylated by Sirt2, respectively. Sirt2, which level peak in S phase, sustains RNR activity at or above a threshold level required for dNTPs synthesis. We also find that radiation or camptothecin-induced DNA damage promotes RRM2 deacetylation by enhancing Sirt2-RRM2 interaction. Acetylation of RRM2 at K95 results in the reduction of the dNTP pool, DNA replication fork stalling, and the suppression of tumor cell growth in vitro and in vivo. This study therefore identifies acetylation as a regulatory mechanism governing RNR activity.

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Last updated: July 24, 2019