RPA is a critical factor for DNA replication and replication stress response. Surprisingly, we found that chromatin RPA stability is tightly regulated. We report that the GDP/GTP exchange factor DOCK7 acts as a critical replication stress regulator to promote RPA stability on chromatin. DOCK7 is phosphorylated by ATR and then recruited by MDC1 to the chromatin and replication fork during replication stress. DOCK7-mediated Rac1/Cdc42 activation leads to the activation of PAK1, which subsequently phosphorylates RPA1 at S135 and T180 to stabilize chromatin-loaded RPA1 and ensure proper replication stress response. Moreover, DOCK7 is overexpressed in ovarian cancer and depleting DOCK7 sensitizes cancer cells to camptothecin. Taken together, our results highlight a novel role for DOCK7 in regulation of the replication stress response and highlight potential therapeutic targets to overcome chemoresistance in cancer.
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