The ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) kinase is rapidly activated following DNA damage and phosphorylates its downstream targets to launch DDR signaling. Recently, we and others showed that UFM1 signaling promotes ATM activation. We further discovered that monoufmylation of histone H4 at Lys31 by UFM1-specific ligase 1 (UFL1) is an important step in the amplification of ATM activation. However, how monoufmylated H4 enhances ATM activation is still unknown. Here, we report STK38, a kinase in the Hippo pathway, serves as a reader for histone H4 ufmylation to promote ATM activation in a kinase-independent manner. STK38 contains a potential UFM1 binding motif which recognizes ufmylated H4 and recruits the SUV39H1 to the double-strand breaks, resulting in H3K9 trimethylation and Tip60 activation to promote ATM activation. Together, STK38 is a previously unknown player in DNA damage signaling and functions as a reader of monoufmylated H4 at Lys31 to promote ATM activation.
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