Uracil DNA Glycosylase (UNG2) is the primary enzyme in humans that prevents the stable incorporation of deoxyuridine monophosphate into DNA in the form of U/A basepairs. During S-phase, UNG2 remains associated with the replication fork through its interactions with two proteins, Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) and Replication Protein A (RPA), which are critical for DNA replication and repair. In this work, we used protein semisynthesis and fluorescence anisotropy assays to explore the interactions of UNG2 with PCNA and RPA and to determine the effects of two UNG2 phosphorylation sites (Thr6 and Tyr8) located within its PCNA-interacting motif (PIP-box). In binding assays, we found that phosphorylation of Thr6 or Tyr8 on UNG2 can impede PCNA binding without affecting UNG2 catalytic activity or its RPA interaction. Our data also suggests that unmodified UNG2, PCNA, and RPA can form a ternary protein complex. We propose that the UNG2 N-terminus may serve as a flexible scaffold to tether PCNA and RPA at the replication fork, and that post-translational modifications on the UNG2 N-terminus disrupt formation of the PCNA-UNG2-RPA protein complex.
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