hnRNP-U is a specific DNA-dependent protein kinase substrate phosphorylated in response to DNA double-strand breaks
Cellular responses to DNA damage are orchestrated by the large phosphoinositol-3-kinase related kinases ATM, ATR and DNA-PK. We have developed a cell-free system to dissect the biochemical mechanisms of these kinases. Using this system, we identify heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein U (hnRNP-U), also termed scaffold attachment factor A (SAF-A), as a specific substrate for DNA-PK. We show that hnRNP-U is phosphorylated at Ser59 by DNA-PK in vitro and in cells in response to DNA double-strand breaks. Phosphorylation of hnRNP-U suggests novel functions for DNA-PK in the response to DNA damage.