[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Developing B and T lymphocytes generate programmed DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) during the V(D)J recombination process that assembles exons that encode the antigen-binding variable regions of antibodies. In addition, mature B lymphocytes generate programmed DSBs during the immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) class switch recombination (CSR) process that allows expression of different antibody heavy chain constant regions that provide different effector functions. During both V(D)J recombination and CSR, DSB intermediates are sensed by the ATM-dependent DSB response (DSBR) pathway, which also contributes to their joining via classical non-homologous end-joining (C-NHEJ). The precise nature of the interplay between the DSBR and C-NHEJ pathways in the context of DSB repair via C-NHEJ remains under investigation. Recent studies have shown that the XLF C-NHEJ factor has functional redundancy with several members of the ATM-dependent DSBR pathway in C-NHEJ, highlighting unappreciated major roles for both XLF as well as the DSBR in V(D)J recombination, CSR and C-NHEJ in general. In this review, we discuss current knowledge of the mechanisms that contribute to the repair of DSBs generated during B lymphocyte development and activation with a focus on potential functionally redundant roles of XLF and ATM-dependent DSBR factors.
DNA repair 05/2014; 16:11–22. · 4.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Classical nonhomologous end joining (C-NHEJ) is a major mammalian DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway that is required for assembly of antigen receptor variable region gene segments by V(D)J recombination. Recombination activating gene endonuclease initiates V(D)J recombination by generating DSBs between two V(D)J coding gene segments and flanking recombination signal sequences (RS), with the two coding ends and two RS ends joined by C-NHEJ to form coding joins and signal joins, respectively. During C-NHEJ, recombination activating gene factor generates two coding ends as covalently sealed hairpins and RS ends as blunt 5'-phosphorylated DSBs. Opening and processing of coding end hairpins before joining by C-NHEJ requires the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs). However, C-NHEJ of RS ends, which do not require processing, occurs relatively normally in the absence of DNA-PKcs. The XRCC4-like factor (XLF) is a C-NHEJ component that is not required for C-NHEJ of chromosomal signal joins or coding joins because of functional redundancy with ataxia telangiectasia mutated kinase, a protein that also has some functional overlap with DNA-PKcs in this process. Here, we show that XLF has dramatic functional redundancy with DNA-PKcs in the V(D)J SJ joining process, which is nearly abrogated in their combined absence. Moreover, we show that XLF functionally overlaps with DNA-PKcs in normal mouse development, promotion of genomic stability in mouse fibroblasts, and in IgH class switch recombination in mature B cells. Our findings suggest that DNA-PKcs has fundamental roles in C-NHEJ processes beyond end processing that have been masked by functional overlaps with XLF.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The classical nonhomologous DNA end-joining (C-NHEJ) double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway in mammalian cells maintains genome stability and is required for V(D)J recombination and lymphocyte development. Mutations in the XLF C-NHEJ factor or ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) DSB response protein cause radiosensitivity and immunodeficiency in humans. Although potential roles for XLF in C-NHEJ are unknown, ATM activates a general DSB response by phosphorylating substrates, including histone H2AX and 53BP1, which are assembled into chromatin complexes around DSBs. In mice, C-NHEJ, V(D)J recombination, and lymphocyte development are, at most, modestly impaired in the absence of XLF or ATM, but are severely impaired in the absence of both. Redundant functions of XLF and ATM depend on ATM kinase activity; correspondingly, combined XLF and H2AX deficiency severely impairs V(D)J recombination, even though H2AX deficiency alone has little impact on this process. These and other findings suggest that XLF may provide functions that overlap more broadly with assembled DSB response factors on chromatin. As one test of this notion, we generated mice and cells with a combined deficiency for XLF and 53BP1. In this context, 53BP1 deficiency, although leading to genome instability, has only modest effects on V(D)J recombination or lymphocyte development. Strikingly, we find that combined XLF/53BP1 deficiency in mice severely impairs C-NHEJ, V(D)J recombination, and lymphocyte development while also leading to general genomic instability and growth defects. We conclude that XLF is functionally redundant with multiple members of the ATM-dependent DNA damage response in facilitating C-NHEJ and discuss implications of our findings for potential functions of these factors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2012; 109(7):2455-60. · 9.81 Impact Factor