Mammalian Exo1 encodes both structural and catalytic functions that play distinct roles in essential biological processes

Departments of Cell Biology and Pathology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 06/2013; 110(27). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1308512110
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mammalian Exonuclease 1 (EXO1) is an evolutionarily conserved, multifunctional exonuclease involved in DNA damage repair, replication, immunoglobulin diversity, meiosis, and telomere maintenance. It has been assumed that EXO1 participates in these processes primarily through its exonuclease activity, but recent studies also suggest that EXO1 has a structural function in the assembly of higher-order protein complexes. To dissect the enzymatic and nonenzymatic roles of EXO1 in the different biological processes in vivo, we generated an EXO1-E109K knockin (Exo1(EK)) mouse expressing a stable exonuclease-deficient protein and, for comparison, a fully EXO1-deficient (Exo1(null)) mouse. In contrast to Exo1(null/null) mice, Exo1(EK/EK) mice retained mismatch repair activity and displayed normal class switch recombination and meiosis. However, both Exo1-mutant lines showed defects in DNA damage response including DNA double-strand break repair (DSBR) through DNA end resection, chromosomal stability, and tumor suppression, indicating that the enzymatic function is required for those processes. On a transformation-related protein 53 (Trp53)-null background, the DSBR defect caused by the E109K mutation altered the tumor spectrum but did not affect the overall survival as compared with p53-Exo1(null) mice, whose defects in both DSBR and mismatch repair also compromised survival. The separation of these functions demonstrates the differential requirement for the structural function and nuclease activity of mammalian EXO1 in distinct DNA repair processes and tumorigenesis in vivo.

Download full-text


Available from: R. Chahwan, Feb 25, 2015
  • Source
    • "Therefore, Exo1 has been considered to be the first exonuclease to be involved in SHM and CSR (Bardwell et al., 2004). Recently research showed that structural function and nuclease activity of mammalian Exo1 play differential roles in distinct DNA repair processes and tumor genesis in vivo (Schaetzlein et al., 2013). However, the effects of Exo1 on tissue stem cell homeostasis are largely unknown. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Exonuclease 1 (Exo1) has been implicated in the regulation of DNA damage responses in stem cells with dysfunctional telomeres. However, it is unclear whether Exo1-mediated DNA maintenance pathways play a role in the maintenance of genomic stability and the self-renewal of tissue stem cells in mice with functional telomeres. Here, we analyzed the proliferative capacity of neural stem cells (NSCs) and hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from Exo1(-/-) mice. Our study shows that Exo1 deficiency impairs the maintenance of genomic stability and proliferative capacity in NSCs but not HSCs. In line with these results, we detected a decrease in proliferation and an up-regulation of p21 expression levels in Exo1-deficient NSCs but not Exo1-deficient HSCs. Our data provide experimental evidence that Exo1 deficiency has a differential impact on the homeostasis and proliferative capacity of tissue stem cells in the brain and bone marrow, suggesting that different tissue stem cells utilize distinct mechanisms for maintaining their genomic stability. Our current study provides important insight into the role of Exo1-mediated DNA maintenance pathways in the maintenance of genomic stability and the proliferative capacity of tissue stem cells.
    Stem Cell Research 11/2013; 12(1):250-259. DOI:10.1016/j.scr.2013.11.001 · 3.91 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Exo1-mediated resection of DNA double-strand break ends generates 3' single-stranded DNA overhangs required for homology-based DNA repair and activation of the ATR-dependent checkpoint. Despite its critical importance in inducing the overall DNA damage response, the mechanisms and regulation of the Exo1 resection pathway remain incompletely understood. Here, we identify the ring-shaped DNA clamp PCNA as a new factor in the Exo1 resection pathway. Using mammalian cells, Xenopus nuclear extracts and purified proteins, we show that after DNA damage, PCNA loads onto double-strand breaks and promotes Exo1 damage association through direct interaction with Exo1. By tethering Exo1 to the DNA substrate, PCNA confers processivity to Exo1 in resection. This role of PCNA in DNA resection is analogous to its function in DNA replication where PCNA serves as a processivity co-factor for DNA polymerases.
    Nucleic Acids Research 08/2013; 41(20). DOI:10.1093/nar/gkt672 · 9.11 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Classical nonhomologous end-joining (C-NHEJ) and alternative end-joining (A-EJ) are the main DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathways when a sister chromatid is not available. However, it is not clear how one pathway is chosen over the other to process a given DSB. To address this question, we studied in mouse splenic B cells and CH12F3 cells how C-NHEJ and A-EJ repair DSBs initiated by the activation-induced deaminase during IgH (Igh) class-switch recombination (CSR). We show in this study that lowering the deamination density at the Igh locus increases DSB resolution by microhomology-mediated repair while decreasing C-NHEJ activity. This process occurs without affecting 53BP1 and γH2AX levels during CSR. Mechanistically, lowering deamination density increases exonuclease I recruitment and single-stranded DNA at the Igh locus and promotes C-terminal binding protein interacting protein and MSH2-dependent DSB repair during CSR. Indeed, reducing activation-induced deaminase levels increases CSR efficiency in C-NHEJ-defective cells, suggesting enhanced use of an A-EJ pathway. Our results establish a mechanism by which C-NHEJ and this C-terminal binding protein interacting protein/MSH2-dependent pathway that relies on microhomology can act concurrently but independently to repair different types of DSBs and reveal that the density of DNA lesions influences the choice of DSB repair pathway during CSR.
    The Journal of Immunology 10/2013; 191(11). DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1301300 · 5.36 Impact Factor
Show more