A hypomorphic Artemis human disease allele causes aberrant chromosomal rearrangements and tumorigenesis.

Department of Human Genetics, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.
Human Molecular Genetics (Impact Factor: 6.68). 02/2011; 20(4):806-19. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddq524
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The Artemis gene encodes a DNA nuclease that plays important roles in non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), a major double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway in mammalian cells. NHEJ factors repair general DSBs as well as programmed breaks generated during the lymphoid-specific DNA rearrangement, V(D)J recombination, which is required for lymphocyte development. Mutations that inactivate Artemis cause a human severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome associated with cellular radiosensitivity. In contrast, hypomorphic Artemis mutations result in combined immunodeficiency syndromes of varying severity, but, in addition, are hypothesized to predispose to lymphoid malignancy. To elucidate the distinct molecular defects caused by hypomorphic compared with inactivating Artemis mutations, we examined tumor predisposition in a mouse model harboring a targeted partial loss-of-function disease allele. We find that, in contrast to Artemis nullizygosity, the hypomorphic mutation leads to increased aberrant intra- and interchromosomal V(D)J joining events. We also observe that dysfunctional Artemis activity combined with p53 inactivation predominantly predisposes to thymic lymphomas harboring clonal translocations distinct from those observed in Artemis nullizygosity. Thus, the Artemis hypomorphic allele results in unique molecular defects, tumor spectrum and oncogenic chromosomal rearrangements. Our findings have significant implications for disease outcomes and treatment of patients with different Artemis mutations.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: TP53 protects cells from transformation by responding to stresses including aneuploidy and DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). TP53 induces apoptosis of lymphocytes with persistent DSBs at antigen receptor loci and other genomic loci to prevent these lesions from generating oncogenic translocations. Despite this critical function of TP53, germline Tp53 (-/-) mice succumb to immature T-cell (thymic) lymphomas that exhibit aneuploidy and lack clonal translocations. However, Tp53(-/-) mice occasionally develop B lineage lymphomas and Tp53 deletion in pro-B cells causes lymphomas with oncogenic immunoglobulin (Ig) locus translocations. In addition, human lymphoid cancers with somatic TP53 inactivation often harbor oncogenic IG or T-cell receptor (TCR) locus translocations. To determine whether somatic Tp53 inactivation unmasks translocations or alters the frequency of B lineage tumors in mice, we generated and analyzed mice with conditional Tp53 deletion initiating in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) or in lineage-committed thymocytes. Median tumor-free survival of each strain was similar to the lifespan of Tp53(-/-) mice. Mice with HSC deletion of Tp53 predominantly succumbed to thymic lymphomas with clonal translocations not involving Tcr loci; however, these mice occasionally developed mature B-cell lymphomas that harbored clonal Ig translocations. Deletion of Tp53 in thymocytes caused thymic lymphomas with aneuploidy and/or clonal translocations, including oncogenic Tcr locus translocations. Our data demonstrate that the developmental stage of Tp53 inactivation affects karyotypes of lymphoid malignancies in mice where somatic deletion of Tp53 initiating in thymocytes is sufficient to cause thymic lymphomas with oncogenic translocations.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 09/2013; 12(20). · 5.24 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: DNA non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) is the major DNA double strand break (DSB) repair pathway in mammalian cells. Defects in NHEJ proteins confer marked radiosensitivity in cell lines and mice models, since radiation potently induces DSBs. The process of V(D)J recombination functions during the development of the immune response, and involves the introduction and rejoining of programmed DSBs to generate an array of diverse T and B cells. NHEJ rejoins these programmed DSBs. Consequently, NHEJ deficiency confers (severe) combined immunodeficiency – (S)CID – due to a failure to carry out V(D)J recombination efficiently. NHEJ also functions in class switch recombination, another step enhancing T and B cell diversity. Prompted by these findings, a search for radiosensitivity amongst (S)CID patients revealed a radiosensitive sub-class, defined as RS-SCID. Mutations in NHEJ genes, defining human syndromes deficient in DNA ligase IV (LIG4 Syndrome), XLF-Cernunnos, Artemis or DNA-PKcs, have been identified in such patients. Mutations in XRCC4 or Ku70,80 in patients have not been identified. RS-SCID patients frequently display additional characteristics including microcephaly, dysmorphic facial features and growth delay. Here, we overview the clinical spectrum of RS-SCID patients and discuss our current understanding of the underlying biology.
    DNA repair 05/2014; · 3.36 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Genome instability is a feature of nearly all cancers and can be exploited for therapy. In addition, a growing number of genome maintenance genes have been associated with developmental disorders. Efforts to understand the role of genome instability in these processes will be greatly facilitated by a more comprehensive understanding of their genetic network. We highlight recent genetic screens in model organisms that have assisted in the discovery of novel regulators of genome stability and focus on the contribution of mice as a model organism to understanding the role of genome instability during embryonic development, tumour formation and cancer therapy.
    Current opinion in genetics & development 12/2013; 24C:1-7. · 8.99 Impact Factor


1 Download
Available from