During mild replication stress provoked by low dose aphidicolin (APH) treatment, the key Fanconi anemia protein FANCD2 accumulates on common fragile sites, observed as sister foci, and protects genome stability. To gain further insights into FANCD2 function and its regulatory mechanisms, we examined the genome-wide chromatin localization of FANCD2 in this setting by ChIP-seq analysis. We found that FANCD2 mostly accumulates in the central regions of a set of large transcribed genes that were extensively overlapped with known CFS. Consistent with previous studies, we found that this FANCD2 retention is R-loop-dependent. However, FANCD2 monoubiquitination and RPA foci formation were still induced in cells depleted of R-loops. Interestingly, we detected increased Proximal Ligation Assay dots between FANCD2 and R-loops following APH treatment, which was suppressed by transcriptional inhibition. Collectively, our data suggested that R-loops are required to retain FANCD2 in chromatin at the middle intronic region of large genes, while the replication stress-induced upstream events leading to the FA pathway activation are not triggered by R-loops.
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