Homologous recombination and maintenance of genome integrity: cancer and aging through the prism of human RecQ helicases
ABSTRACT Homologous recombination (HR) is a genetic mechanism in somatic cells that repairs DNA double-strand breaks and restores productive DNA synthesis following disruption of replication forks. Although HR is indispensable for maintaining genome integrity, it must be tightly regulated to avoid harmful outcomes. HR-associated genomic instabilities arise in three human genetic disorders, Bloom syndrome (BS), Werner syndrome (WS), and Rothmund-Thomson syndrome (RTS), which are caused by defects in three individual proteins of the RecQ family of helicases, BLM, WRN, and RECQL4, respectively. Cells derived from persons with these syndromes display varying types of genomic instability as evidenced by the presence of different kinds of chromosomal abnormalities and different sensitivities to DNA damaging agents. Persons with these syndromes exhibit a variety of developmental defects and are predisposed to a wide range of cancers. WS and RTS are further characterized by premature aging. Recent research has shown many connections between all three proteins and the regulation of excess HR. Here, we illustrate the elaborate networks of BLM, WRN, and RECQL4 in regulating HR, and the potential mechanistic linkages to cancer and aging.
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ABSTRACT: Genomic DNA is constantly challenged from endogenous as well as exogenous sources. The DNA damage response (DDR) mechanism has evolved to combat these challenges and ensure genomic integrity. In this review, we will focus on repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSB) by homologous recombination and the role of several nucleases and other recombination factors as suitable targets for cancer therapy. Their inactivation as well as overexpression have been shown to sensitize cancer cells by increasing toxicity to DNA-damaging agents and radiation or to be responsible for resistance of cancer cells. These factors can also be used in targeted cancer therapy by taking advantage of specific genetic abnormalities of cancer cells that are not present in normal cells and that result in cancer cell lethality.FEBS Letters 06/2014; 588(15). DOI:10.1016/j.febslet.2014.06.010 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Rothmund–Thomson fibroblasts had replicative lifespans and growth rates within the range for normal fibroblasts; however, they show elevated levels of the stress-associated p38 MAP kinase, suggestive of stress during growth. Treatment with the p38 MAP kinase inhibitor SB203580 increased both lifespan and growth rate, as did reduction of oxidative stress using low oxygen in some strains. At replicative senescence p53, p21WAF1 and p16INK4A levels were elevated, and abrogation of p53 using shRNA knockdown allowed the cells to bypass senescence. Ectopic expression of human telomerase allowed Rothmund–Thomson fibroblasts to bypass senescence. However, activated p38 was still present, and continuous growth for some telomerised clones required either a reduction in oxidative stress or SB203580 treatment. Overall, the evidence suggests that replicative senescence in Rothmund–Thomson cells resembles normal senescence in that it is telomere driven and p53 dependent. However, the lack of RECQL4 leads to enhanced levels of stress during cell growth that may lead to moderate levels of stress-induced premature senescence. As replicative senescence is believed to underlie human ageing, a moderate level of stress-induced premature senescence and p38 activity may play a role in the relatively mild ageing phenotype seen in Rothmund–Thomson. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11357-012-9476-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.Journal of the American Aging Association 01/2013; 35(5):DOI: 10.1007/s11357-012-9476-9. DOI:10.1007/s11357-012-9476-9 · 3.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mutations in RECQL4 helicase are associated with Rothmund-Thomson syndrome (RTS). A subset of RTS patients is predisposed to cancer and is sensitive to DNA damaging agents. The enhanced sensitivity of cells from RTS patients correlates with the accumulation of transcriptionally active nuclear p53. We found that in untreated normal human cells these two nuclear proteins, p53 and RECQL4, instead colocalize in the mitochondrial nucleoids. RECQL4 accumulates in mitochondria in all phases of the cell cycle except S phase and physically interacts with p53 only in the absence of DNA damage. p53-RECQL4 binding leads to the masking of the nuclear localization signal of p53. The N-terminal 84 amino acids of RECQL4 contain a mitochondrial localization signal, which causes the localization of RECQL4-p53 complex to the mitochondria. RECQL4-p53 interaction is disrupted after stress, allowing p53 translocation to the nucleus. In untreated normal cells RECQL4 optimizes de novo replication of mtDNA, which is consequently decreased in fibroblasts from RTS patients. Wild-type RECQL4-complemented RTS cells show relocalization of both RECQL4 and p53 to the mitochondria, loss of p53 activation, restoration of de novo mtDNA replication and resistance to different types of DNA damage. In cells expressing Δ84 RECQL4, which cannot translocate to mitochondria, all the above functions are compromised. The recruitment of p53 to the sites of de novo mtDNA replication is also regulated by RECQL4. Thus these findings elucidate the mechanism by which p53 is regulated by RECQL4 in unstressed normal cells and also delineates the mitochondrial functions of the helicase.Journal of Cell Science 02/2012; 125(Pt 10):2509-22. DOI:10.1242/jcs.101501 · 5.33 Impact Factor