[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regulation of DNA repair mechanisms during the viral replication cycle may have consequences for the virus with regards to genomic variability, adaptation, and replication of viral DNA. We have studied the activities and expression patterns of key enzymes involved in the first two steps of base excision repair (BER) of DNA in primary fibroblasts infected by human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Infected cells were very proficient for removal of uracil and 5' hydrolysis of AP sites (AP endonuclease activity) as compared to the mock-infected cells, suggesting a direct role in generating free ends at uracil lesions in DNA for initiation of viral replication. Furthermore, the capacity to initiate repair of alkylated and oxidized base lesions were reduced in HCMV-infected cells, indicating increased mutation frequencies that could promote genetic variability. We hypothesize that modulation of BER activities may play an important role in HCMV pathogenesis to ensure efficient replication and genomic variation of viral DNA.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OGG1 (8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase-1) is one of the main DNA glycosylases present in mammalian cells. The enzyme removes 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG) lesions, believed to be the most important oxidized lesions due to their relatively high incidence and their miscoding properties. This study shows that in prenatal mice brains the repair capacity for 8-oxoG is 5-10-fold higher than in adult mice brains. Western blot analysis and repair activity in extracts from Ogg1(-/-) mice revealed that OGG1 was responsible for the efficient 8-oxoG removal from prenatal mice. To investigate how OGG1 protects against oxidative stress-induced mutagenesis, pregnant Big Blue/wild-type and Big Blue/Ogg1(-/-) mice were exposed to nontoxic doses of gamma radiation. A 2.5-fold increase in the mutation frequency in Ogg1(-/-) mouse brains was obtained by exposure to 3.5 Gy at day 19 postfertilization. This was largely due to GC to TA transversions, believed to originate from 8-oxoG mispairing with A during replication. Furthermore, rapid cell divisions seemed to be required for fixation of mutations, as a similar dose of radiation did not increase the mutation frequency, or the frequency of GC to TA transversion, in the adult brain.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies have reported enhanced oxidative stress in patients with HIV infection. An important pathophysiologic consequence of increased oxidative stress is endogenous DNA damage, and the base excision repair pathway is the most important mechanism to withstand such deleterious effects. To investigate the role of base excision repair in HIV infection, we examined 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG) levels as a marker of oxidative DNA damage and DNA glycosylase activities in CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells of HIV-infected patients and controls. These results showed that the HIV-infected patients, particularly those with advanced disease, had increased levels of 8-oxoG in CD4(+) T cells and marked declines in DNA glycosylase activity for the repair of oxidative base lesions in these cells. In contrast, CD8(+) T cells from HIV-infected patients, with 8-oxoG levels similar to those in healthy controls, showed enhanced capacity to repair oxidative DNA damage. Finally, highly active antiretroviral therapy induced increased glycosylase activity in CD4(+) T cells and normalized 8-oxoG levels. This imbalance between the accumulation of oxidative DNA damage and the capacity to repair such lesions in CD4(+) T cells may represent a previously unrecognized mechanism involved in the numerical and functional impairment of CD4(+) T cells in patients with HIV infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 8-Oxoguanine (8-oxoG) is a major mutagenic DNA base damage corrected by the base excision repair (BER) pathway, which is initiated by lesion specific DNA glycosylases. The human DNA glycosylase hOgg1 catalyses excision of 8-oxoG followed by strand incision 3' to the abasic site if cytosine is positioned in the complementary strand. Unlike most bifunctional glycosylases, hOgg1 uncouples base removal and strand cleavage. This paper addresses the significance of product inhibition and magnesium for the non-concerted action of hOgg1 activities. The enzymatic activities of hOgg1 were analysed on duplex DNA containing a single 8-oxoG or abasic site opposite cytosine. AP-lyase cleavage of abasic sites was inhibited in the presence of free 8-oxoG, indicating that the product of base excision inhibits the subsequent strand incision step. Assays with DNA containing 8-oxoG showed that free 8-oxoG also inhibited the glycosylase activity. This result suggests that the free 8-oxoG base may retain in the recognition site following N-glycosylic cleavage, implying that product inhibition contribute to uncoupling the activities of hOgg1. Magnesium reduced the efficiency of base excision and strand incision on DNA containing 8-oxoG under single turnover conditions; however, the reduction was more pronounced for the AP-lyase activity. Furthermore, Shiff-base formation between hOgg1 and 8-oxoG containing DNA was abrogated in the presence of magnesium. These results suggest that hOgg1 mainly operates as a monofunctional glycosylase under physiological concentrations of magnesium.
DNA Repair 04/2005; 4(3):381-7. · 4.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome alterations due to horizontal gene transfer and stress constantly generate strain on the gene pool of Neisseria meningitidis, the causative agent of meningococcal (MC) disease. The DNA glycosylase MutY of the base excision repair pathway is involved in the protection against oxidative stress. MC MutY expressed in Escherichia coli exhibited base excision activity towards DNA substrates containing A:7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine and A:C mismatches. Expression in E. coli fully suppressed the elevated spontaneous mutation rate found in the E. coli mutY mutant. An assessment of MutY activity in lysates of neisserial wild-type and mutY mutant strains showed that both MC and gonococcal (GC) MutY is expressed and active in vivo. Strikingly, MC and GC mutY mutants exhibited 60- to 140-fold and 20-fold increases in mutation rates, respectively, compared to the wild-type strains. Moreover, the differences in transitions and transversions in rpoB conferring rifampin resistance observed with the wild type and mutants demonstrated that the neisserial MutY enzyme works in preventing GC-->AT transversions. These findings are important in the context of models linking mutator phenotypes of disease isolates to microbial fitness.
Journal of Bacteriology 04/2005; 187(8):2801-9. · 3.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Schizosaccharomyces pombe mag1 gene encodes a DNA repair enzyme with sequence similarity to the AlkA family of DNA glycosylases, which are essential for the removal of cytotoxic alkylation products, the premutagenic deamination product hypoxanthine and certain cyclic ethenoadducts such as ethenoadenine. In this paper, we have purified the Mag1 protein and characterized its substrate specificity. It appears that the substrate range of Mag1 is limited to the major alkylation products, such as 3-mA, 3-mG and 7-mG, whereas no significant activity was found towards deamination products, ethenoadducts or oxidation products. The efficiency of 3-mA and 3-mG removal was 5-10 times slower for Mag1 than for Escherichia coli AlkA whereas the rate of 7-mG removal was similar to the two enzymes. The relatively low efficiency for the removal of cytotoxic 3-methylpurines is consistent with the moderate sensitivity of the mag1 mutant to methylating agents. Furthermore, we studied the initial steps of Mag1-dependent base excision repair (BER) and genetic interactions with other repair pathways by mutant analysis. The double mutants mag1 nth1, mag1 apn2 and mag1 rad2 displayed increased resistance to methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) compared with the single mutants nth1, apn2 and rad2, respectively, indicating that Mag1 initiates both short-patch (Nth1-dependent) and long-patch (Rad2-dependent) BER of MMS-induced damage. Spontaneous intrachromosomal recombination frequencies increased 3-fold in the mag1 mutant suggesting that Mag1 and recombinational repair (RR) are both involved in repair of alkylated bases. Finally, we show that the deletion of mag1 in the background of rad16, nth1 and rad2 single mutants reduced the total recombination frequencies of all three double mutants, indicating that abasic sites formed as a result of Mag1 removal of spontaneous base lesions are substrates for nucleotide excision repair, long- and short-patch BER and RR.
Nucleic Acids Research 02/2005; 33(3):1123-31. · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several methods exist for predicting non-coding RNA (ncRNA) genes in Escherichia coli (E.coli). In addition to about sixty known ncRNA genes excluding tRNAs and rRNAs, various methods have predicted more than thousand ncRNA genes, but only 95 of these candidates were confirmed by more than one study. Here, we introduce a new method that uses automatic discovery of sequence patterns to predict ncRNA genes. The method predicts 135 novel candidates. In addition, the method predicts 152 genes that overlap with predictions in the literature. We test sixteen predictions experimentally, and show that twelve of these are actual ncRNA transcripts. Six of the twelve verified candidates were novel predictions. The relatively high confirmation rate indicates that many of the untested novel predictions are also ncRNAs, and we therefore speculate that E.coli contains more ncRNA genes than previously estimated.
Nucleic Acids Research 02/2005; 33(10):3263-70. · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Numerous lines of evidence support the role of oxidative stress in different types of cancer. A major DNA lesion, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (8-oxoG), is formed by reactive oxygen species in the genome under physiological conditions. 8-OxoG is strongly mutagenic, generating G.C-->T.A transversions, a frequent somatic mutation in cancers. hOGG1 was cloned as a gene encoding a DNA glycosylase that specifically recognizes and removes 8-oxoG from 8-oxoG:C base pairs and suppresses G.C-->T.A transversions. In this study, we investigated the subcellular localization and expression of hOGG1 during the cell cycle. Northern blots showed cell-cycle-dependent mRNA expression of the two major hOGG1 isoforms. By using a cell line constitutively expressing hOGG1 fused to enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP), we observed a dynamic relocalization of EGFP-hOGG1 to the nucleoli during the S-phase of the cell cycle, and this localization was shown to be linked to transcription. A C/G change that results in an amino acid substitution from serine to cysteine in codon 326 has been reported as a genetic polymorphism and a risk allele for a variety of cancers. We investigated the cellular localization of the corresponding protein, hOGG1-Cys326, fused to EGFP and observed a dramatic effect on its localization that is explained by a change in the phosphorylation status of hOGG1.
Nucleic Acids Research 01/2005; 33(6):1813-24. · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deleterious 1-methyladenine (1-meA) and 3-methylcytosine (3-meC) lesions are introduced into nucleic acids by methylating agents. It was recently demonstrated that the E. coli AlkB protein and a human homolog, hABH3, can demethylate these lesions both in DNA and RNA. To elucidate the biological significance of the RNA repair, we have tested whether such repair can rescue the function of chemically methylated RNA. We demonstrate that a methylation-induced block in translation of an mRNA can be readily relieved by treatment with AlkB and hABH3 prior to translation. Furthermore, we show that chemical methylation of tRNAPhe inhibits aminoacylation and translation, but that the inhibition can be reversed by AlkB and hABH3. AlkB-mediated repair of 1-meA in tRNA was also observed in E. coli in vivo. Our data demonstrate that AlkB proteins can mediate functional recovery of RNA exposed to methylation damage, supporting the notion that RNA repair is important.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent data in invertebrates demonstrated that huntingtin (htt) is essential for fast axonal trafficking. Here, we provide direct and functional evidence that htt is involved in fast axonal trafficking in mammals. Moreover, expression of full-length mutant htt (mhtt) impairs vesicular and mitochondrial trafficking in mammalian neurons in vitro and in whole animals in vivo. Particularly, mitochondria become progressively immobilized and stop more frequently in neurons from transgenic animals. These defects occurred early in development prior to the onset of measurable neurological or mitochondrial abnormalities. Consistent with a progressive loss of function, wild-type htt, trafficking motors, and mitochondrial components were selectively sequestered by mhtt in human Huntington's disease-affected brain. Data provide a model for how loss of htt function causes toxicity; mhtt-mediated aggregation sequesters htt and components of trafficking machinery leading to loss of mitochondrial motility and eventual mitochondrial dysfunction.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 10/2004; 24(18):8195-209. · 5.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The AAG family of 3-methyladenine DNA glycosylases was initially thought to be limited to mammalian cells, but genome sequencing efforts have revealed the presence of homologous proteins in certain prokaryotic species as well. Here, we report the first molecular characterization of a functional prokaryotic AAG homologue, i.e. YxlJ, termed bAag, from Bacillus subtilis. The B. subtilis aag gene was expressed in Escherichia coli, and the protein was purified to homogeneity. As expected, B. subtilis Aag was found to be a DNA glycosylase, which releases 3-alkylated purines and hypoxanthine, as well as the cyclic etheno adduct 1,N(6)-ethenoadenine from DNA. However, kinetic analysis showed that bAag removed hypoxanthine much faster than human AAG with a 10-fold higher value for k(cat), whereas the rate of excision of 1, N(6)-ethenoadenine was found to be similar. In contrast, it was found that bAag removes 3-methyladenine and 3-methylguanine approximately 10-20 times more slowly than human AAG, and there was hardly any detectable excision of 7-methylguanine. It thus appears that bAag has a minor role in the repair of DNA alkylation damage and an important role in preventing the mutagenic effects of deaminated purines and cyclic etheno adducts in Bacillus subtilis.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2004; 279(14):13601-6. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Base excision repair (BER) is an evolutionarily conserved system which removes altered bases from DNA. The initial step in BER is carried out by DNA glycosylases which recognize altered bases and cut the N-glycosylic bond between the base and the DNA backbone. In kinetoplastid flagellates, such as Trypanosoma brucei, the modified base beta-D-glucosyl-hydroxymethyluracil (J) replaces a small percentage of thymine residues, predominantly in repetitive telomeric sequences. Base J is synthesized at the DNA level via the precursor 5-hydroxymethyluracil (5-HmU). We have investigated whether J in DNA can be recognized by DNA glycosylases from non-kinetoplastid origin, and whether the presence of J and 5-HmU in DNA has required modifications of the trypanosome BER system. We tested the ability of 15 different DNA glycosylases from various origins to excise J or 5-HmU paired to A from duplex oligonucleotides. No excision of J was found, but 5-HmU was excised by AlkA and Mug from Escherichia coli and by human SMUG1 and TDG, confirming previous reports. In a combination of database searches and biochemical assays we identified several DNA glycosylases in T. brucei, but in trypanosome extracts we detected no excision activity towards 5-HmU or ethenocytosine, a product of oxidative DNA damage and a substrate for Mug, TDG and SMUG1. Our results indicate that trypanosomes have a BER system similar to that of other organisms, but might be unable to excise certain forms of oxidatively damaged bases. The presence of J in DNA does not require a specific modification of the BER system, as this base is not recognized by any known DNA glycosylase.
DNA Repair 03/2004; 3(2):145-54. · 4.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methylating agents introduce cytotoxic 1-methyladenine (1-meA) and 3-methylcytosine (3-meC) residues into nucleic acids, and it was recently demonstrated that the Escherichia coli AlkB protein and two human homologues, hABH2 and hABH3, can remove these lesions from DNA by oxidative demethylation. Moreover, AlkB and hABH3 were also found to remove 1-meA and 3-meC from RNA, suggesting that cellular RNA repair can occur. We have here studied the preference of AlkB, hABH2 and hABH3 for single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) or double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), and show that AlkB and hABH3 prefer ssDNA, while hABH2 prefers dsDNA. This was consistently observed with three different oligonucleotide substrates, implying that the specificity for single-stranded versus double-stranded DNA is sequence independent. The dsDNA preference of hABH2 was observed only in the presence of magnesium. The activity of the enzymes on single-stranded RNA (ssRNA), double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and DNA/RNA hybrids was also investigated, and the results generally confirm the notion that while AlkB and hABH3 tend to prefer single-stranded nucleic acids, hABH2 is more active on double-stranded substrates. These results may contribute to identifying the main substrates of bacterial and human AlkB proteins in vivo.
Nucleic Acids Research 02/2004; 32(11):3456-61. · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the most frequent lesions formed in cellular DNA are abasic (apurinic/apyrimidinic, AP) sites that are both cytotoxic and mutagenic, and must be removed efficiently to maintain genetic stability. It is generally believed that the repair of AP sites is initiated by the AP endonucleases; however, an alternative pathway seems to prevail in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. A mutant lacking the DNA glycosylase/AP lyase Nth1 is very sensitive to the alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate (MMS), suggesting a role for Nth1 in base excision repair (BER) of alkylation damage. Here, we have further evaluated the role of Nth1 and the second putative S.pombe AP endonuclease Apn2, in abasic site repair. The deletion of the apn2 open reading frame dramatically increased the sensitivity of the yeast cells to MMS, also demonstrating that the Apn2 has an important function in the BER pathway. The deletion of nth1 in the apn2 mutant strain partially relieves the MMS sensitivity of the apn2 single mutant, indicating that the Apn2 and Nth1 act in the same pathway for the repair of abasic sites. Analysis of the AP site cleavage in whole cell extracts of wild-type and mutant strains showed that the AP lyase activity of Nth1 represents the major AP site incision activity in vitro. Assays with DNA substrates containing base lesions removed by monofunctional DNA glycosylases Udg and MutY showed that Nth1 will also cleave the abasic sites formed by these enzymes and thus act downstream of these enzymes in the BER pathway. We suggest that the main function of Apn2 in BER is to remove the resulting 3'-blocking termini following AP lyase cleavage by Nth1.
Nucleic Acids Research 02/2004; 32(17):5119-25. · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Repeated sequence signatures are characteristic features of all genomic DNA. We have made a rigorous search for repeat genomic sequences in the human pathogens Neisseria meningitidis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Haemophilus influenzae and found that by far the most frequent 9-10mers residing within coding regions are the DNA uptake sequences (DUS) required for natural genetic transformation. More importantly, we found a significantly higher density of DUS within genes involved in DNA repair, recombination, restriction-modification and replication than in any other annotated gene group in these organisms. Pasteurella multocida also displayed high frequencies of a putative DUS identical to that previously identified in H.influenzae and with a skewed distribution towards genome maintenance genes, indicating that this bacterium might be transformation competent under certain conditions. These results imply that the high frequency of DUS in genome maintenance genes is conserved among phylogenetically divergent species and thus are of significant biological importance. Increased DUS density is expected to enhance DNA uptake and the over-representation of DUS in genome maintenance genes might reflect facilitated recovery of genome preserving functions. For example, transient and beneficial increase in genome instability can be allowed during pathogenesis simply through loss of antimutator genes, since these DUS-containing sequences will be preferentially recovered. Furthermore, uptake of such genes could provide a mechanism for facilitated recovery from DNA damage after genotoxic stress.
Nucleic Acids Research 02/2004; 32(3):1050-8. · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The stability of microbial genomes is constantly challenged by horizontal gene transfer, recombination and DNA damage. Mechanisms for rapid genome variation, adaptation and maintenance are a necessity to ensure microbial fitness and survival in changing environments. Indeed, genome sequences reveal that most, if not all, bacterial species have numerous gene functions for DNA repair and recombination. These important topics were addressed at the Second Genome Maintenance Meeting (GMM2).
Trends in Microbiology 02/2004; 12(1):1-4. · 8.43 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidative DNA damage is a major cause of cell death and mutagenesis in all aerobic organisms, and several new oxidative base lesions have been identified in recent years. Improved chemistry for the synthesis of oligonucleotides with modified base residues at defined positions has allowed detailed studies of repair, replication, transcription and mutagenesis at specific lesions in vitro and in vivo. The aim of this review is to present the structure of all the various known oxidised DNA base lesions known to date and to summarise the present knowledge about the mutagenic and toxic effects of oxidised base modifications and their repair.
Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 11/2003; 531(1-2):37-80. · 3.90 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcription does not always stall at base damage in DNA and can create mutated transcripts from miscoding lesions. In this issue of Molecular Cell, present genetic analysis of E. coli to indicate that the highly mutagenic purine modification, 8-oxoguanine, is subject to transcription-coupled repair despite transcriptional bypass and generation of mutant transcripts.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Werner syndrome (WS) is a premature aging disorder that predisposes affected individuals to cancer development. The affected gene, WRN, encodes an RecQ homologue whose precise biological function remains elusive. Altered DNA recombination is a hallmark of WS cells suggesting that WRN plays an important role in these pathways. Here we report a novel physical and functional interaction between WRN and the homologous recombination mediator protein RAD52. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) analyses show that WRN and RAD52 form a complex in vivo that co-localizes in foci associated with arrested replication forks. Biochemical studies demonstrate that RAD52 both inhibits and enhances WRN helicase activity in a DNA structure-dependent manner, whereas WRN increases the efficiency of RAD52-mediated strand annealing between non-duplex DNA and homologous sequences contained within a double-stranded plasmid. These results suggest that coordinated WRN and RAD52 activities are involved in replication fork rescue after DNA damage.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2003; 278(38):36476-86. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) has been shown to remove 5' overhanging flap intermediates during base excision repair and to process the 5' ends of Okazaki fragments during lagging-strand DNA replication in vitro. To assess the in vivo role of the mammalian enzyme in repair and replication, we used a gene-targeting approach to generate mice lacking a functional Fen1 gene. Heterozygote animals appear normal, whereas complete depletion of FEN1 causes early embryonic lethality. Fen1(-/-) blastocysts fail to form inner cell mass during cellular outgrowth, and a complete inactivation of DNA synthesis in giant cells of blastocyst outgrowth was observed. Exposure of Fen1(-/-) blastocysts to gamma radiation caused extensive apoptosis, implying an essential role for FEN1 in the repair of radiation-induced DNA damage in vivo. Our data thus provide in vivo evidence for an essential function of FEN1 in DNA repair, as well as in DNA replication.
Molecular and Cellular Biology 09/2003; 23(15):5346-53. · 5.37 Impact Factor