The RecQ family of helicases has been shown to play an important role in maintaining genomic stability. In humans, this family has five members and mutations in three of these helicases, BLM, WRN and RECQL4, are associated with disease. Alterations in RECQL4 are associated with three diseases, Rothmund-Thomson syndrome, Baller-Gerold syndrome, and RAPADILINO syndrome. One of the more common mutations found in RECQL4 is the RAPADILINO mutation, c.1390+2delT which is a splice-site mutation leading to an in-frame skipping of exon 7 resulting in 44 amino acids being deleted from the protein (p.Ala420-Ala463del). In order to characterize the RAPADILINO RECQL4 mutant protein, it was expressed in bacteria and purified using an established protocol. Strand annealing, helicase, and ATPase assays were conducted to characterize the protein's activities relative to WT RECQL4. Here we show that strand annealing activity in the absence of ATP is unchanged from that of WT RECQL4. However, the RAPADILINO protein variant lacks helicase and ssDNA-stimulated ATPase activity. These observations help explain the underlying molecular etiology of the disease and our findings provide insight into the genotype and phenotype association among RECQL4 syndromes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RECQL4 is one of five members of the human RecQ helicase family, and is implicated in three syndromes displaying accelerating aging, developmental abnormalities and a predisposition to cancer. In this study, we purified three variants of RECQL4 carrying previously reported patient mutations. These three mutant proteins were analyzed for the known biochemical activities of RECQL4: DNA binding, unwinding of duplex DNA, ATP hydrolysis and annealing of simplex DNA. Further, the mutant proteins were evaluated for stability and recruitment to sites of laser-induced DNA damage. One mutant was helicase-dead, had marginal ATPase activity and may be structurally compromised, while the other two showed greatly reduced helicase and ATPase activities. The remaining biochemical activities and ability to recruit to damage sites were not significantly impaired for any of the mutants. Our findings demonstrate a consistent pattern of functional deficiency and provide further support for a helicase-dependent cellular function of RECQL4 in addition to its N-terminus-dependent role in initiation of replication, a function that may underlie the phenotype of RECQL4-linked disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Helicases have important roles in nucleic acid metabolism, and their prominence is marked by the discovery of genetic disorders arising from disease-causing mutations. Missense mutations can yield unique insight to molecular functions and basis for disease pathology. XPB or XPD missense mutations lead to Xeroderma pigmentosum, Cockayne's syndrome, Trichothiodystrophy, or COFS syndrome, suggesting that DNA repair and transcription defects are responsible for clinical heterogeneity. Complex phenotypes are also observed for RECQL4 helicase mutations responsible for Rothmund-Thomson syndrome, Baller-Gerold syndrome, or RAPADILINO. Bloom's syndrome causing missense mutations are found in the conserved helicase and RecQ C-terminal domain of BLM that interfere with helicase function. Although rare, patient-derived missense mutations in the exonuclease or helicase domain of Werner syndrome protein exist. Characterization of WRN separation-of-function mutants may provide insight to catalytic requirements for suppression of phenotypes associated with the premature aging disorder. Characterized FANCJ missense mutations associated with breast cancer or Fanconi anemia interfere with FANCJ helicase activity required for DNA repair and the replication stress response. For example, a FA patient-derived mutation in the FANCJ Iron-Sulfur domain was shown to uncouple its ATPase and translocase activity from DNA unwinding. Mutations in DDX11 (ChlR1) are responsible for Warsaw Breakage syndrome, a recently discovered autosomal recessive cohesinopathy. Ongoing and future studies will address clinically relevant helicase mutations and polymorphisms, including those that interfere with key protein interactions or exert dominant negative phenotypes (e.g., certain mutant alleles of Twinkle mitochondrial DNA helicase). Chemical rescue may be an approach to restore helicase activity in loss-of-function helicase disorders. Genetic and biochemical analyses of disease-causing missense mutations in human helicase disorders have led to new insights to the molecular defects underlying aberrant cellular and clinical phenotypes.
Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 12/2012; 752(2). DOI:10.1016/j.mrrev.2012.12.004 · 3.68 Impact Factor
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