Transcriptional stalling in B-lymphocytes: A mechanism for antibody diversification and maintenance of genomic integrity.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Transcription 04/2013; 4(3). DOI: 10.4161/trns.24556
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT B cells utilize three DNA alteration strategies-V(D)J recombination, somatic hypermutation (SHM) and class switch recombination (CSR)-to somatically mutate their genome, thereby expressing a plethora of antibodies tailor-made against the innumerable antigens they encounter while in circulation. Of these three events, the single-strand DNA cytidine deaminase, Activation Induced cytidine Deaminase (AID), is responsible for SHM and CSR. Recent advances, discussed in this review article, point toward various components of RNA polymerase II "stalling" machinery as regulators of AID activity during antibody diversification and maintenance of B cell genome integrity.

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    ABSTRACT: Activation-induced deaminase (AID) mediates the somatic hypermutation (SHM) of Ig variable (V) regions that is required for the affinity maturation of the antibody response. An intensive analysis of a published database of somatic hypermutations that arose in the IGHV3-23*01 human V region expressed in vivo by human memory B cells revealed that the focus of mutations in complementary determining region (CDR)1 and CDR2 coincided with a combination of overlapping AGCT hotspots, the absence of AID cold spots, and an abundance of polymerase eta hotspots. If the overlapping hotspots in the CDR1 or CDR2 did not undergo mutation, the frequency of mutations throughout the V region was reduced. To model this result, we examined the mutation of the human IGHV3-23*01 biochemically and in the endogenous heavy chain locus of Ramos B cells. Deep sequencing revealed that IGHV3-23*01 in Ramos cells accumulates AID-induced mutations primarily in the AGCT in CDR2, which was also the most frequent site of mutation in vivo. Replacing the overlapping hotspots in CDR1 and CDR2 with neutral or cold motifs resulted in a reduction in mutations within the modified motifs and, to some degree, throughout the V region. In addition, some of the overlapping hotspots in the CDRs were at sites in which replacement mutations could change the structure of the CDR loops. Our analysis suggests that the local sequence environment of the V region, and especially of the CDR1 and CDR2, is highly evolved to recruit mutations to key residues in the CDRs of the IgV region.
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    ABSTRACT: Programmed mutagenesis of the immunoglobulin locus of B lymphocytes during class switch recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation requires RNA polymerase II (polII) transcription complex-dependent targeting of the DNA mutator activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID). AID deaminates cytidine residues on substrate sequences in the immunoglobulin (Ig) locus via a transcription-dependent mechanism, and this activity is stimulated by the RNA polII stalling cofactor Spt5 and the 11-subunit cellular noncoding RNA 3'-5' exonucleolytic processing complex RNA exosome. The mechanism by which the RNA exosome recognizes immunoglobulin locus RNA substrates to stimulate AID DNA deamination activity on its in vivo substrate sequences is an important question. Here we report that E3-ubiquitin ligase Nedd4 destabilizes AID-associated RNA polII by a ubiquitination event, leading to generation of 3' end free RNA exosome RNA substrates at the Ig locus and other AID target sequences genome-wide. We found that lack of Nedd4 activity in B cells leads to accumulation of RNA exosome substrates at AID target genes and defective CSR. Taken together, our study links noncoding RNA processing following RNA polII pausing with regulation of the mutator AID protein. Our study also identifies Nedd4 as a regulator of noncoding RNAs that are generated by stalled RNA polII genome-wide.
    Genes & development 08/2013; 27(16):1821-33. DOI:10.1101/gad.210211.112 · 12.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Programed DNA mutagenesis events in the immunoglobulin (Ig) loci of developing B cells utilize the common and conserved mechanism of protein ubiquitination for subsequent proteasomal degradation to generate the required antigen-receptor diversity. Recombinase proteins RAG1 and RAG2, necessary for V(D)J recombination, and activation-induced cytidine deaminase, an essential mutator protein for catalyzing class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation, are regulated by various ubiquitination events that affect protein stability and activity. Programed DNA breaks in the Ig loci can be identified by various components of DNA repair pathways, also regulated by protein ubiquitination. Errors in the ubiquitination pathways for any of the DNA double-strand break repair proteins can lead to inefficient recombination and repair events, resulting in a compromised adaptive immune system or development of cancer.
    Frontiers in Immunology 03/2014; 5:100. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00100

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Jul 17, 2014