Article

Histone H2AX and Fanconi anemia FANCD2 function in the same pathway to maintain chromosome stability.

Group of Mutagenesis, Department of Genetics and Microbiology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.
The EMBO Journal (Impact Factor: 9.82). 04/2007; 26(5):1340-51. DOI: 10.1038/sj.emboj.7601574
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fanconi anemia (FA) is a chromosome fragility syndrome characterized by bone marrow failure and cancer susceptibility. The central FA protein FANCD2 is known to relocate to chromatin upon DNA damage in a poorly understood process. Here, we have induced subnuclear accumulation of DNA damage to prove that histone H2AX is a novel component of the FA/BRCA pathway in response to stalled replication forks. Analyses of cells from H2AX knockout mice or expressing a nonphosphorylable H2AX (H2AX(S136A/S139A)) indicate that phosphorylated H2AX (gammaH2AX) is required for recruiting FANCD2 to chromatin at stalled replication forks. FANCD2 binding to gammaH2AX is BRCA1-dependent and cells deficient or depleted of H2AX show an FA-like phenotype, including an excess of chromatid-type chromosomal aberrations and hypersensitivity to MMC. This MMC hypersensitivity of H2AX-deficient cells is not further increased by depleting FANCD2, indicating that H2AX and FANCD2 function in the same pathway in response to DNA damage-induced replication blockage. Consequently, histone H2AX is functionally connected to the FA/BRCA pathway to resolve stalled replication forks and prevent chromosome instability.

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    ABSTRACT: Fanconi anemia (FA) is a genetic disease resulting in bone marrow failure, birth defects, and cancer that is thought to encompass a defect in maintenance of genomic stability. Mutations in 16 genes (FANCA, B, C, D1, D2, E, F, G, I, J, L, M, N, O, P and Q) have been identified in patients, with the FA subtype J (FA-J) resulting from homozygous mutations in the FANCJ gene. Here, we describe the direct interaction of FANCD2 with FANCJ. We demonstrate the interaction of FANCD2 and FANCJ in vivo and in vitro by immunoprecipitation in crude cell lysates and from fractions after gel filtration, and with baculovirally expressed proteins. Mutation of the monoubiquitination site of FANCD2 (K561R) preserves interaction with FANCJ constitutively in a manner that impedes proper chromatin localization of FANCJ. FANCJ is necessary for FANCD2 chromatin loading and focus formation in response to mitomycin C (MMC) treatment. Our results suggest that not only does FANCD2 regulate FANCJ chromatin localization but also that FANCJ is necessary for efficient loading of FANCD2 onto chromatin following DNA damage caused by MMC treatment.
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    ABSTRACT: DNA crosslinks can block replication in vitro and slow down S phase progression in vivo. We characterized the effect of mitomycin C crosslinker on S phase globally and on individual replication forks in wild type and FANCD2-deficient human cells. FANCD2 is critical to crosslink repair, and is also implicated in facilitating DNA replication. We used DNA fiber analysis to demonstrate persistent reduction in abundance but not progression rate of replication forks during an S phase of MMC-treated cells. FANCD2 deficiency did not eliminate this phenotype. Immunoprecipitation of EdU-labeled DNA indicated that replication was not suppressed in the domains that were undergoing response to MMC as marked by the presence of γH2AX, and in fact γH2AX was overrepresented on DNA that had replicated immediately after MMC in wild type through less so in FANCD2-depleted cells. FANCD2-depleted cells also produced fewer tracks of uninterrupted replication of up to 240Kb long, regardless of MMC treatment. Overall, the data suggest that crosslinks may not pose a block to S phase as a whole, but instead profoundly change its progress by reducing density of replication forks and causing at least a fraction of forks to operate within a DNA damage response-altered chromatin.
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