The role of WRN in DNA repair is affected by post-translational modifications.
ABSTRACT Werner syndrome (WS) is an autosomal recessive progeroid disease characterized by genomic instability. WRN gene encodes one of the RecQ helicase family proteins, WRN, which has ATPase, helicase, exonuclease and single stranded DNA annealing activities. There is accumulating evidence suggesting that WRN contributes to the maintenance of genomic integrity through its involvement in DNA repair, replication and recombination. The role of WRN in these pathways can be modulated by its post-translational modifications in response to DNA damage. Here, we review the functional consequences of post-translational modifications on WRN as well as specific DNA repair pathways where WRN is involved and discuss how these modifications affect DNA repair pathways.
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ABSTRACT: Werner Syndrome (WRN) is an autosomal recessive disorder showing an endogenous mutator phenotype in combination with an elevated risk of predominantly mesenchymal cancer. The gene mutated in WRN patients codes for 3'-->5' DNA helicase and 3'-->5' exonuclease activities. We have found similar S-phase arrest in both WRN and control cells after treatment with the DNA-topoisomerase-I-trapping drug camptothecin; this may be responsible for the drug-exposure-related growth inhibition seen in both cell types. A clearer phenotypic difference between WRN and control immortalized B-cell lines (LCLs) is obtained by examining cell death. The mechanism of camptothecin-induced cell death in WRN-deficient LCLs appears to be through apoptosis, a phenotype that strongly differentiates WRN-deficient from wild-type LCLs. We hypothesize that, in cells deficient for WRN function, a topoisomerase-I-DNA intermediate persists. Conflict with DNA replication may lead to apoptosis, increased mutation rates, and cancer in WRN.Human Genetics 01/1999; 104(1):10-4. · 4.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The clinical phenotype of Werner Syndrome (WRN) includes features reminiscent of accelerated aging and an increased incidence of sarcomas and other tumors of mesenchymal origin. This syndrome results from mutations in the WRN DNA helicase/exonuclease gene. We found that WRN deficient primary fibroblasts, as well as lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs), show reduced proliferative survival in response to 4-nitroquinoline-N-oxide (4NQO) and 8-methoxypsoralen (8MOP), compared with WRN-proficient cells. This is the first demonstration of drug hypersensitivity in primary cells of mesenchymal origin from WRN patients. Notably, 8MOP-induced DNA interstrand crosslinks, but not 8MOP mono-adducts, produced S-phase apoptosis in WRN-deficient LCLs. In contrast, 8MOP did not induce S-phase apoptosis in WRN-deficient diploid fibroblasts, in which drug hypersensitivity was entirely due to reduced cell proliferation. Such reduced proliferation of damaged mesenchymal cells in WRN patients may lead to earlier proliferative senescence. In addition, failure of WRN-deficient mesenchymal cells to undergo apoptosis in response to DNA damage in S-phase may promote genomic instability and could help clarify the increased risk of sarcoma in WRN patients. Because interstrand crosslinks are believed to be repaired through homologous recombination, these results suggest an important role for WRN in recombinational resolution of stalled replication forks.The FASEB Journal 06/2002; 16(7):757-8. · 5.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Werner syndrome (WS) predisposes patients to cancer and premature aging, owing to mutations in WRN. The WRN protein is a RECQ-like helicase and is thought to participate in DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or homologous recombination (HR). It has been previously shown that non-homologous DNA ends develop extensive deletions during repair in WS cells, and that this WS phenotype was complemented by wild-type (wt) WRN. WRN possesses both 3' --> 5' exonuclease and 3' --> 5' helicase activities. To determine the relative contributions of each of these distinct enzymatic activities to DSB repair, we examined NHEJ and HR in WS cells (WRN-/-) complemented with either wtWRN, exonuclease-defective WRN (E-), helicase-defective WRN (H-) or exonuclease/helicase-defective WRN (E-H-). The single E-and H- mutants each partially complemented the NHEJ abnormality of WRN-/- cells. Strikingly, the E-H- double mutant complemented the WS deficiency nearly as efficiently as did wtWRN. Similarly, the double mutant complemented the moderate HR deficiency of WS cells nearly as well as did wtWRN, whereas the E- and H- single mutants increased HR to levels higher than those restored by either E-H- or wtWRN. These results suggest that balanced exonuclease and helicase activities of WRN are required for optimal HR. Moreover, WRN appears to play a structural role, independent of its enzymatic activities, in optimizing HR and efficient NHEJ repair. Another human RECQ helicase, BLM, suppressed HR but had little or no effect on NHEJ, suggesting that mammalian RECQ helicases have distinct functions that can finely regulate recombination events.Aging Cell 08/2003; 2(4):191-9. · 5.71 Impact Factor