Role of the BLM helicase in replication fork management.
ABSTRACT Genomic DNA is particularly vulnerable to mutation during S-phase when the two strands of parental duplex DNA are separated during the process of semi-conservative DNA replication. Lesions that are normally repaired efficiently in the context of double stranded DNA can cause replication forks to stall or, more dangerously, collapse. Cells from Bloom's syndrome patients, that lack the RecQ helicase BLM, show defects in the response to replicative stress and contain a multitude of chromosomal aberrations, which primarily arise through excessive levels of homologous recombination. Here, recent findings are reviewed that further our understanding of the role that BLM plays in the management of damaged replication forks.
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ABSTRACT: Mutation of BLM helicase causes Blooms syndrome, a disorder associated with genome instability, high levels of sister chromatid exchanges, and cancer predisposition. To study the influence of BLM on double-strand break (DSB) repair in human chromosomes, we stably transfected a normal human cell line with a DNA substrate that contained a thymidine kinase (tk)-neo fusion gene disrupted by the recognition site for endonuclease I-SceI. The substrate also contained a closely linked functional tk gene to serve as a recombination partner for the tk-neo fusion gene. We derived two cell lines each containing a single integrated copy of the DNA substrate. In these cell lines, a DSB was introduced within the tk-neo fusion gene by expression of I-SceI. DSB repair events that occurred via homologous recombination (HR) or nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) were recovered by selection for G418-resistant clones. DSB repair was examined under conditions of either normal BLM expression or reduced BLM expression brought about by RNA interference. We report that BLM knockdown in both cell lines specifically increased the frequency of HR events that produced deletions by crossovers or single-strand annealing while leaving the frequency of gene conversions unchanged or reduced. We observed no change in the accuracy of individual HR events and no substantial alteration of the nature of individual NHEJ events when BLM expression was reduced. Our work provides the first direct evidence that BLM influences DSB repair pathway choice in human chromosomes and suggests that BLM deficiency can engender genomic instability by provoking an increased frequency of HR events of a potentially deleterious nature.DNA repair 02/2011; 10(4):416-26. DOI:10.1016/j.dnarep.2011.01.009 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Bloom's syndrome (BS) displays one of the strongest known correlations between chromosomal instability and a high risk of cancer at an early age. BS cells combine a reduced average fork velocity with constitutive endogenous replication stress. However, the response of BS cells to replication stress induced by hydroxyurea (HU), which strongly slows the progression of replication forks, remains unclear due to publication of conflicting results. Using two different cellular models of BS, we showed that BLM deficiency is not associated with sensitivity to HU, in terms of clonogenic survival, DSB generation, and SCE induction. We suggest that surviving BLM-deficient cells are selected on the basis of their ability to deal with an endogenous replication stress induced by replication fork slowing, resulting in insensitivity to HU-induced replication stress.Journal of nucleic acids 09/2010; 2010. DOI:10.4061/2010/319754
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ABSTRACT: Che-1 is a RNA polymerase II binding protein involved in the regulation of gene transcription and, in response to DNA damage, promotes p53 transcription. In this study, we investigated whether Che-1 regulates mutant p53 expression. We found that Che-1 is required for sustaining mutant p53 expression in several cancer cell lines, and that Che-1 depletion by siRNA induces apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo. Notably, loss of Che-1 activates DNA damage checkpoint response and induces transactivation of p73. Therefore, these findings underline the important role that Che-1 has in survival of cells expressing mutant p53.Cancer cell 08/2010; 18(2):122-34. DOI:10.1016/j.ccr.2010.05.027 · 23.89 Impact Factor