The melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), which signals through cAMP, is a melanocytic transmembrane receptor involved in pigmentation, adaptive tanning, and melanoma resistance. We report MC1R-mediated or pharmacologically-induced cAMP signaling promotes nucleotide excision repair (NER) in a cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent manner. PKA directly phosphorylates ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related protein (ATR) at Ser435, which actively recruits the key NER protein xeroderma pigmentosum complementation group A (XPA) to sites of nuclear UV photodamage, accelerating clearance of UV-induced photolesions and reducing mutagenesis. Loss of Ser435 within ATR prevents PKA-mediated ATR phosphorylation, disrupts ATR-XPA binding, delays recruitment of XPA to UV-damaged DNA, and elevates UV-induced mutagenesis. This study mechanistically links cAMP-PKA signaling to NER and illustrates potential benefits of cAMP pharmacological rescue to reduce UV mutagenesis in MC1R-defective, melanoma-susceptible individuals.

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Published in Molecular Cell, v. 54, issue 6, p. 999–1011.

Per the publisher Elsevier: "NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Molecular Cell. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Molecular Cell, v. 54, issue 6, (June 19, 2014). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2014.05.030"

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