Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Replication forks frequently stall at regions of the genome that are difficult to replicate or contain lesions that cause replication blockage. An important mechanism for the restart of a stalled fork involves endonucleolytic cleavage that can lead to fork restoration and replication progression. Here, we show that the structure-selective endonuclease MUS81-EME2 is responsible for fork cleavage and restart in human cells. The MUS81-EME2 protein, whose actions are restricted to S phase, is also responsible for telomere maintenance in telomerase-negative ALT (Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres) cells. In contrast, the G2/M functions of MUS81, such as the cleavage of recombination intermediates and fragile site expression, are promoted by MUS81-EME1. These results define distinct and temporal roles for MUS81-EME1 and MUS81-EME2 in the maintenance of genome stability.