DNA-RNA hybrids contribute to the replication dependent genomic instability induced by Omcg1 deficiency.
ABSTRACT During S phase, the replisome has to overcome many physical obstacles that can cause replication fork stalling and compromise genome integrity. Transcription is an important source of replicative stress and consequently, maintenance of genome integrity requires the protection of chromosomes from the deleterious effects arising from the interaction between nascent RNAs and template DNA, leading to stable DNA-RNA hybrids (R-loop) formation. We previously reported the essential role of Omcg1 (Ovum Mutant Candidate Gene) for cell cycle progression during early embryonic development. Here, we show that OMCG1 is a target of the cell cycle checkpoint kinases ATR/ATM and is essential for S phase progression in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Using a conditional gene inactivation strategy, we demonstrate that OMCG1 depletion impairs cell viability as a consequence of DSB formation, checkpoint activation and replication fork collapse. We also show that no chromosome breaks were generated in non-cycling Omcg1-deficient cells. Furthermore, increased RNaseH expression significantly alleviated genomic instability in deficient fibroblasts suggesting that cotranscriptional R-loops formation contributes to the genesis of replication-dependent DSBs in these cells. Together with recent reports describing its participation to complexes involved in cotanscriptional processes, our results suggest that OMCG1 plays a role in the tight coupling between mRNA processing pathways and maintenance of genome integrity during cell cycle progression.
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ABSTRACT: Replication and transcription are key aspects of DNA metabolism that take place on the same template and potentially interfere with each other. Conflicts between these two activities include head-on or co-directional collisions between DNA and RNA polymerases, which can lead to the formation of DNA breaks and chromosome rearrangements. To avoid these deleterious consequences and prevent genomic instability, cells have evolved multiple mechanisms preventing replication forks from colliding with the transcription machinery. Yet, recent reports indicate that interference between replication and transcription is not limited to physical interactions between polymerases and that other cotranscriptional processes can interfere with DNA replication. These include DNA-RNA hybrids that assemble behind elongating RNA polymerases, impede fork progression and promote homologous recombination. Here, we discuss recent evidence indicating that R-loops represent a major source of genomic instability in all organisms, from bacteria to human, and are potentially implicated in cancer development.Current Genomics 03/2012; 13(1):65-73. · 2.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: R loops are three-stranded nucleic acid structures that comprise nascent RNA hybridized with the DNA template, leaving the nontemplate DNA single-stranded. R loops form naturally during transcription even though their persistent formation can be a risky outcome with deleterious effects on genome integrity. On the other hand, over the last few years, an increasingly strong case has been built for R loops as potential regulators of gene expression. Therefore, understanding their function and regulation under these opposite situations is essential to fully characterize the mechanisms that control genome integrity and gene expression. Here we review recent findings about these interesting structures that highlight their opposite roles in cellular fitness.Genes & development. 07/2014; 28(13):1384-1396.
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ABSTRACT: We have proposed that maintenance of genomic stability may constitute the basis for the tumor-suppressing activity of the Bre1 (RNF20/RNF40) complex. Revisiting the evidence we presented in our recent publication, we discuss the mechanism by which maintenance of genomic stability by the Bre1 complex is achieved through coordination of events during transcription. Among many functions of Bre1, we focus on the two that, when defective, could lead to the formation of R-loops, the RNA:DNA hybrid structures regarded as a major source of genomic instability. Specifically, we discuss the role of Bre1-mediated H2B ubiquitination in the 3'-end processing of replication-associated histone mRNA and in heterochromatic gene silencing and show how disturbance of these two functions may result in the specific pattern of chromosomal abnormalities we observe in the Bre1-depleted cells.Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 08/2012; 11(16):2980-4. · 5.24 Impact Factor