Cell cycle and genome stability

Endogenous metabolic products, such as reactive oxygen species, and exogenous physical and chemical genotoxic stress, constantly assault the genetic material of our cells. It is estimated that there are 100.000 lesions per cell per day in a human body. In response to such a high levels of DNA damage, sophisticated mechanisms have evolved to coordinate cell cycle progression with DNA repair. When those systems fail or the rate of DNA damage exceeds the capacity of the cell to repair it, the accumulation of errors can overwhelm the cell and result in early senescence, apoptosis, or cancer.

In our group, we are focussed on the cellular response that takes place after the formation of a DNA lesion. In response to a DNA break, a damage signal is triggered to activate the processing of the broken DNA ends, the searching for an intact homologous DNA sequence and the copying of the lost genetic information. While the importance of protein phosphorylation along these steps has been well documented over the last years, the complex role of protein dephosphorylation remains to be investigated. Thus, we are interesting to decipher the distinctive role of protein phosphatases in the DNA repair pathway, their regulation during the damage response and their targets in the process.

To answer these questions, we use biochemical, microscopy and genetic approaches to follow the timely execution of every individual step of the repair process. The combination of these classical techniques with a new set of genome-wide methodologies, allow us to gather information about the importance of protein dephosphorylation in the maintenance of genome integrity in response to a DNA lesion.

Analysis of DNA repair. The location and behavior of the DNA lesion can be detected in the cell nucleus using fluorescence microscopy.

Analysis of DNA repair
A) Cells repair a DNA lesion by activation of a set of processes that end up with the efficient reconstitution of the DNA molecule.
B) The dynamics in the repair of a DNA lesion can be followed by using genome-wide sequencing approaches.
C) The computational analysis of the data obtained from the genomic sequences allow us to modelling the evolution of the DNA lesion along the damage response.
D) Genome-wide recombination events between different chromosomes can efficiently be measured after the formation of a single DNA break.
E) The analysis of the frequency in chromosome recombination can be used to infer the ability of chromosomes to interact with each other in response to a DNA lesion.

Image description

Group members

Andrés Clemente-Blanco Principal Investigator
Adrián Campos PhD Student
Celia Delgado PhD Student
Lydia Iglesias PhD Student
Lydia Pulido PhD Student
María Teresa Villoria Specialized Technician
Clara Cuadrado TFM Student


Andrés Clemente Blanco andresclemente@usal.es
Laboratory 2.3

Recent publications

Campos A, Ramos F, Iglesias L, Delgado C, Merino E, Esperilla-Muñoz A, Correa-Bordes J, Clemente-Blanco, A. (2023)
Cdc14 phosphatase counteracts Cdk-dependent Dna2 phosphorylation to inhibit resection during recombinational DNA repair.
Nature Communications doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-38417-5
Ramos F, Durán L, Sánchez M, Campos A, Hernández-Villamor D, Antequera F, Clemente-Blanco, A. (2022)
Genome-wide sequencing analysis of Sgs1, Exo1, Rad51 and Srs2 in DNA repair by homologous recombination.
Cell Reports doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.110201
Campos, A., Clemente-Blanco, A. (2020)
Cell cycle and DNA repair regulation in the damage response: Protein phosphatases take over the reins
International Journal of Molecular Sciences doi: 10.3390/ijms21020446
Villoria MT, Gutiérrez-Escribano P, Alonso-Rodríguez E, Ramos F, Merino E, Campos A, Montoya A, Kramer H, Aragón L, Clemente-Blanco A. (2019)
PP4 phosphatase cooperates in recombinational DNA repair by enhancing double-strand break end resection
Nucleic Acids Research. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz794
Ramos F, Villoria MT, Alonso-Rodríguez E, Clemente-Blanco A. (2019)
Role of protein phosphatases PP1, PP2A, PP4 and Cdc14 in the DNA damage response.
Cell Stress. 21;3(3):70-85. doi: 10.15698/j.cub.2017.10.016.
Villoria MT, Ramos F, Dueñas E, Faull P, Cutillas PR, Clemente-Blanco A (2017)
Stabilization of the methaphase spindle by Cdc14 is required for recombinational DNA repair.
EMBO Journal 4;36(1):79-101

Research grants

MICIN PID2021-125290NB-I00


“Best TFM award” from the University of Salamanca (2022)
“Best Doctoral Thesis 2020 in Spain” from the Real Academia de Doctores de España (2020)
“Best Scientific Publication from a student fellow” award. SEBBM (2017)