[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Morphological analysis of mitotic chromosomes is used to detect mutagenic chemical compounds and to estimate the dose of ionizing radiation to be administered. It has long been believed that chromosomal breaks are always associated with double-strand breaks (DSBs). We here provide compelling evidence against this canonical theory. We employed a genetic approach using two cell lines, chicken DT40 and human Nalm-6. We measured the number of chromosomal breaks induced by three replication-blocking agents (aphidicolin, 5-fluorouracil, and hydroxyurea) in DSB-repair-proficient wild-type cells and cells deficient in both homologous recombination and nonhomologous end-joining (the two major DSB-repair pathways). Exposure of cells to the three replication-blocking agents for at least two cell cycles resulted in comparable numbers of chromosomal breaks for RAD54 2/2/ KU70 2/2 DT40 clones and wild-type cells. Likewise, the numbers of chromosomal breaks induced in RAD54 2/2/ LIG4 2/2 Nalm-6 clones and wild-type cells were also comparable. These data indicate that the replication-blocking agents can cause chromosomal breaks unassociated with DSBs. In contrast with DSB-repair-deficient cells, chicken DT40 cells deficient in PIF1 or ATRIP, which molecules contribute to the completion of DNA replication, displayed higher numbers of mitotic chromosomal breaks induced by aphidicolin than did wild-type cells, suggesting that single-strand gaps left unreplicated may result in mitotic chromosomal breaks.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR) are two major pathways for repairing DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs); however, their respective roles in human somatic cells remain to be elucidated. Here we show using a series of human gene-knockout cell lines that NHEJ repairs nearly all of the topoisomerase II- and low-dose radiation-induced DNA damage, while it negatively affects survival of cells harbouring replication-associated DSBs. Intriguingly, we find that loss of DNA ligase IV, a critical NHEJ ligase, and Artemis, an NHEJ factor with endonuclease activity, independently contribute to increased resistance to replication-associated DSBs. We also show that loss of Artemis alleviates hypersensitivity of DNA ligase IV-null cells to low-dose radiation- and topoisomerase II-induced DSBs. Finally, we demonstrate that Artemis-null human cells display increased gene-targeting efficiencies, particularly in the absence of DNA ligase IV. Collectively, these data suggest that DNA ligase IV and Artemis act cooperatively to promote NHEJ, thereby suppressing HR. Our results point to the possibility that HR can only operate on accidental DSBs when NHEJ is missing or abortive, and Artemis may be involved in pathway switching from incomplete NHEJ to HR.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e72253. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Morphological analysis of mitotic chromosomes is used to detect mutagenic chemical compounds and to estimate the dose of ionizing radiation to be administered. It has long been believed that chromosomal breaks are always associated with double-strand breaks (DSBs). We here provide compelling evidence against this canonical theory. We employed a genetic approach using two cell lines, chicken DT40 and human Nalm-6. We measured the number of chromosomal breaks induced by three replication-blocking agents (aphidicolin, 5-fluorouracil, and hydroxyurea) in DSB-repair-proficient wild-type cells and cells deficient in both homologous recombination and nonhomologous end-joining (the two major DSB-repair pathways). Exposure of cells to the three replication-blocking agents for at least two cell cycles resulted in comparable numbers of chromosomal breaks for RAD54(-/-/)KU70(-/-) DT40 clones and wild-type cells. Likewise, the numbers of chromosomal breaks induced in RAD54(-/-/)LIG4(-/-) Nalm-6 clones and wild-type cells were also comparable. These data indicate that the replication-blocking agents can cause chromosomal breaks unassociated with DSBs. In contrast with DSB-repair-deficient cells, chicken DT40 cells deficient in PIF1 or ATRIP, which molecules contribute to the completion of DNA replication, displayed higher numbers of mitotic chromosomal breaks induced by aphidicolin than did wild-type cells, suggesting that single-strand gaps left unreplicated may result in mitotic chromosomal breaks.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e60043. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The t(14;18) chromosomal translocation typically involves breakage at the bcl-2 major breakpoint region (MBR) to cause human follicular lymphoma. A theory to explain the striking propensity of the MBR breaks at three CpG clusters within the 175 bp MBR region invoked activation-induced deaminase (AID). In a test of that theory, here we use minichromosomal substrates in human pre-B cell lines. Consistent with the essential elements of the theory, we find that the MBR breakage process is indeed highly dependent on DNA methylation at the CpG sites and highly dependent on the AID enzyme to create lesions at peak locations within the MBR. Interestingly, breakage of the phosphodiester bonds at the AID-initiated MBR lesions are RAG-dependent, but unexpectedly most are also dependent on Artemis. We find that Artemis is capable of nicking small heteroduplex structures and is even able to nick single-base mismatches. This raises the possibility that activated Artemis, derived from the unjoined D to J(H) DNA ends at the IgH locus on chromosome 14, can nick AID-generated T:G mismatches at methyl CpG sites, and this would explain why the breaks at the chromosome 18 MBR occur within the same time window as those on chromosome 14.
Molecular and cellular biology 12/2012; · 6.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Topoisomerase poisons such as the epipodophyllotoxin etoposide are widely used effective cytotoxic anticancer agents. However, they are associated with the development of therapy-related acute myeloid leukemias (t-AMLs), which display characteristic balanced chromosome translocations, most often involving the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) locus at 11q23. MLL translocation breakpoints in t-AMLs cluster in a DNase I hypersensitive region, which possesses cryptic promoter activity, implicating transcription as well as topoisomerase II activity in the translocation mechanism. We find that 2-3% of MLL alleles undergoing transcription do so in close proximity to one of its recurrent translocation partner genes, AF9 or AF4, consistent with their sharing transcription factories. We show that most etoposide-induced chromosome breaks in the MLL locus and the overall genotoxicity of etoposide are dependent on topoisomerase IIβ, but that topoisomerase IIα and -β occupancy and etoposide-induced DNA cleavage data suggest factors other than local topoisomerase II concentration determine specific clustering of MLL translocation breakpoints in t-AML. We propose a model where DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) introduced by topoisomerase IIβ into pairs of genes undergoing transcription within a common transcription factory become stabilized by antitopoisomerase II drugs such as etoposide, providing the opportunity for illegitimate end joining and translocation.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2012; 109(23):8989-94. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Artemis is an endonuclease that opens coding hairpin ends during V(D)J recombination and has critical roles in postirradiation cell survival. A direct role for the C-terminal region of Artemis in V(D)J recombination has not been defined, despite the presence of immunodeficiency and lymphoma development in patients with deletions in this region. Here, we report that the Artemis C-terminal region directly interacts with the DNA-binding domain of Ligase IV, a DNA Ligase which plays essential roles in DNA repair and V(D)J recombination. The Artemis-Ligase IV interaction is specific and occurs independently of the presence of DNA and DNA-protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs), another protein known to interact with the Artemis C-terminal region. Point mutations in Artemis that disrupt its interaction with Ligase IV or DNA-PKcs reduce V(D)J recombination, and Artemis mutations that affect interactions with Ligase IV and DNA-PKcs show additive detrimental effects on coding joint formation. Signal joint formation remains unaffected. Our data reveal that the C-terminal region of Artemis influences V(D)J recombination through its interaction with both Ligase IV and DNA-PKcs.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 04/2012; 209(5):955-63. · 13.21 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The vertebrate RECQL4 (RECQ4) gene is thought to be the ortholog of budding yeast SLD2. However, RecQL4 contains within its C-terminus a RecQ-like helicase domain, which is absent in Sld2. We established human pre-B lymphocyte Nalm-6 cells, in which the endogenous RECQL4 gene was homozygously targeted such that the entire C-terminus would not be expressed. The RECQL4(ΔC/ΔC) cells behaved like the parental cells during unperturbed DNA replication or after treatment with agents that induce stalling of DNA replication forks, such as hydroxyurea (HU). However, after exposure to ionizing radiation (IR), the RECQL4(ΔC/ΔC) cells exhibited hypersensitivity, inability to complete S phase and prematurely terminated or paused DNA replication forks. Deletion of BLM, a gene that also encodes a RecQ helicase, had the opposite phenotype; an almost wild-type response to IR, but hypersensitivity to HU. Targeting both RECQL4 and BLM resulted in viable cells, which exhibited mostly additive phenotypes compared with those exhibited by the RECQL4(ΔC/ΔC) and the BLM(-/-) cells. We propose that RecQL4 facilitates DNA replication in cells that have been exposed to IR.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is an X-linked immunodeficiency disease affecting cell morphology and signal transduction in hematopoietic cells. The function of Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) and its partners in protein interaction have been studied intensively in mice; however, detailed biochemical characterization of its signal transduction and assessment of its functional consequence in human WASp-deficient lymphocytes remain difficult. In this study, we generated Nalm-6 cells in which the WAS protein gene (WASP) was disrupted by homologous recombination-based gene targeting and a cell-permeable form of recombinant WASp for functional study. The WASP⁻/⁻ cells showed impaired adhesive capacity and polarization to plate-bound anti-CD47 mAb, anti-CD9 mAb, or to fibronectin. The defective morphological changes were accompanied by impaired intracellular signaling. In addition, the WASp-deficient cells displayed augmented apoptosis induced by CD24 cross-linking. A recombinant fusion protein composed of Hph-1 cell-permeable peptide and WASp prepared in Escherichia coli. Hph-1-WASp was efficiently transduced and expressed in WASP⁻/⁻ Nalm-6 cells in a dose-dependent manner. The wild-type WASp, but not the mutant restored adhesion capacity, spreading morphology, and cytoskeletal reorganization. Additionally, the recombinant protein was successfully transduced into normal lymphocytes. These findings suggest that gene-disrupted model cell lines and cell-permeable recombinant proteins may serve as important tools for the detailed analysis of intracellular molecules involved in PID.
International journal of hematology 02/2012; 95(3):299-310. · 1.17 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Electroporation is a powerful and convenient means for transfection of nonviral vectors into mammalian cells, providing an essential tool for numerous applications including gene targeting via homologous recombination. Recent evidence clearly suggests that high-efficiency gene transfer can be achieved in most cell lines by nucleofection, an electroporation-based transfection method that allows transfected vectors to directly enter the nucleus. In this paper, we analyze the effectiveness of nucleofection for gene targeting using human pre-B cells. For this, we tested 93 different transfection conditions, and found several conditions that gave high (~80%) transfection efficiency with low cytotoxicity (~70% survival rate). Remarkably, under the optimal nucleofection conditions, the gene-targeting efficiency was ~2-5-fold higher than that achieved with conventional electroporation methods. We also found that nucleofection conditions with high transfection efficiency and low cytotoxicity tend to provide high gene-targeting efficiency. Our results provide significant implications for gene targeting, and suggest that nucleofection-based nonviral gene transfer is useful for systematic generation of human gene-knockout cell lines.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 2-oxoglutarate and iron dependent dioxygenase family are crucial for cellular adaptation to changes in oxygen concentration. We found that cells with OGFOD1 gene silencing in this family showed resistance to cell death under ischemia, and cDNA microarray analysis of OGFOD1 knockout human cells revealed downregulation of ATPAF1. Although reintroduction of the OGFOD1 wild-type gene to OGFOD1 KO cells restored ATPAF1 mRNA levels, the catalytically inactive OGFOD1 mutants did not. Furthermore, introduction of ATPAF1 gene to OGFOD1 KO cells induced ischemic cell death. Thus, OGFOD1 plays an important role in ischemic cell survival and an OGFOD1 iron binding residue is required for ATPAF1 gene expression.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: From in vitro studies, flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) has been proposed to play a role in the long patch (LP) base excision repair (BER) subpathway. Yet the role of FEN1 in BER in the context of the living vertebrate cell has not been thoroughly explored. In the present study, we cloned a DT40 chicken cell line with a deletion in the FEN1 gene and found that these FEN1-deficient cells exhibited hypersensitivity to H(2)O(2). This oxidant produces genotoxic lesions that are repaired by BER, suggesting that the cells have a deficiency in BER affecting survival. In experiments with extracts from the isogenic FEN1 null and wild-type cell lines, the LP-BER activity of FEN1 null cells was deficient, whereas repair by the single-nucleotide BER subpathway was normal. Other consequences of the FEN1 deficiency were also evaluated. These results illustrate that FEN1 plays a role in LP-BER in higher eukaryotes, presumably by processing the flap-containing intermediates of BER.
Molecular Cancer Research 02/2010; 8(2):204-15. · 4.35 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Artemis is a structure-specific endonuclease when associated with and phosphorylated by DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit. This structure-specific endonuclease is responsible for the resolution of hairpin coding ends in V(D)J recombination. In DNA double-strand break repair, Artemis is implicated in the end-processing step of the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway. Recently, we have demonstrated that the involvement of Artemis in NHEJ depends on the type of DNA damage. Interestingly, recent evidence suggests that the end-processing activity is not the only function of Artemis. Indeed, Artemis is rapidly phosphorylated by ataxia telangiectasia mutated in response to DNA damage, and such phosphorylation of Artemis appears to be involved in the regulation of cell cycle checkpoints. These findings suggest that Artemis is a multifunctional protein participating in the maintenance of genome integrity at two distinct levels; one at the end processing step of NHEJ, and the other at the signaling pathway of cell cycle regulation. Therefore, understanding Artemis function may give us profound insights into the DNA repair network. In this review, we summarize the functions and regulation of Artemis.
Journal of Radiation Research 01/2010; 51(5):503-9. · 1.45 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tightly controlled expression of transgenes in mammalian cells is an important tool for biological research, drug discovery, and future genetic therapies. The tetracycline-regulated gene depletion (Tet-Off) system has been widely used to control gene activities in mammalian cells, because it allows strict regulation of transgenes but no pleiotropic effects of prokaryotic regulatory proteins. However, the Tet-Off system is not compatible with every cell type and this is the main remaining obstacle left for this system. Recently, we overcame this problem by inserting an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) to drive a selectable marker from the same tetracycline-responsive promoter for the transgene. We also employed a CMV immediate early enhancer/beta-actin (CAG) promoter to express a Tet-controlled transactivator. Indeed, the Tet-Off system with these technical modifications was applied successfully to the human pre-B Nalm-6 cell line in which conventional Tet-Off systems had not worked efficiently. These methodological improvements should be applicable for many other mammalian proliferating cells. In this review we give an overview and introduce a new method for the improved application of the Tet-Off system.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxygen is essential for the life of aerobic organisms, but reactive oxygen species (ROS) derived from oxygen can be a threat for it. Many genes are involved in generation of ROS, but not much attention has been focused on the reactions from which ROS are generated. We therefore screened for mutants that showed an increased sensitivity to oxidative stress in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, and isolated a novel mutant, oxy-4(qa5001). This mutant showed an increased sensitivity to a high concentration of oxygen, and decreased longevity at 20 degrees C but not at 26 degrees C. The genetic analysis has revealed that oxy-4 had a causative mutation in an [FeFe]-hydrogenase-like gene (Y54H5A.4). In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a deletion of NAR1, a possible homologue of oxy-4, also caused a similar increased sensitivity to oxygen. [FeFe]-hydrogenases are enzymes that catalyze both the formation and the splitting of molecular hydrogen, and function in anaerobic respiration in anaerobes. In contrast, [FeFe]-hydrogenase-like genes identified in aerobic eukaryotes do not generate hydrogen, and its functional roles are less understood. Our results suggested that [FeFe]-hydrogenase-like genes were involved in the regulation of sensitivity to oxygen in S. cerevisiae and C. elegans.
Genes to Cells 05/2009; 14(4):457-68. · 2.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long interspersed elements (LINEs) are transposable elements that proliferate within eukaryotic genomes, having a large impact on eukaryotic genome evolution. LINEs mobilize via a process called retrotransposition. Although the role of the LINE-encoded protein(s) in retrotransposition has been extensively investigated, the participation of host-encoded factors in retrotransposition remains unclear. To address this issue, we examined retrotransposition frequencies of two structurally different LINEs--zebrafish ZfL2-2 and human L1--in knockout chicken DT40 cell lines deficient in genes involved in the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) repair of DNA and in human HeLa cells treated with a drug that inhibits NHEJ. Deficiencies of NHEJ proteins decreased retrotransposition frequencies of both LINEs in these cells, suggesting that NHEJ is involved in LINE retrotransposition. More precise characterization of ZfL2-2 insertions in DT40 cells permitted us to consider the possibility of dual roles for NHEJ in LINE retrotransposition, namely to ensure efficient integration of LINEs and to restrict their full-length formation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA topoisomerase I (Top1) is a ubiquitous nuclear enzyme that plays essential roles in various cellular processes, such as transcription or replication. Agents that target Top1, involving camptothecin and its derivatives, are among the most effective anticancer drugs used in the clinic. Previous work has suggested that the level of Top1 expression correlates with the cytotoxicity of camptothecin, but no direct evidence has been provided thus far in the context of human cells with a strictly isogenic genetic background. In this study, we perform heterozygous disruption of the Top1 gene (TOP1) by gene targeting in a human pre-B cell line, Nalm-6, which is karyotypically stable and normal for p53 status. We show that the heterozygous loss of the TOP1 gene does confer cellular resistance to camptothecin, to an extent comparable to that observed in the absence of functional p53 protein. Such a tolerance was not observed with other agents that target DNA topoisomerase II. Our results provide direct evidence that human cells with decreased Top1 levels are significantly more resistant to killing by camptothecin than are otherwise isogenic cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) is the major repair pathway for DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in mammalian species. Upon DSB induction, a living cell quickly activates the NHEJ pathway comprising of multiple molecular events. However, it has been difficult to analyze the initial phase of DSB responses in living cells, primarily due to technical limitations. Recent advances in real-time imaging and site-directed DSB induction using laser microbeam allow us to monitor the spatiotemporal dynamics of NHEJ factors in the immediate-early phase after DSB induction. These new approaches, together with the use of cell lines deficient in each essential NHEJ factor, provide novel mechanistic insights into DSB recognition and protein assembly on DSBs in the NHEJ pathway. In this review, we provide an overview of recent progresses in the imaging analyses of the NHEJ core factors. These studies strongly suggest that the NHEJ core factors are pre-assembled into a large complex on DSBs prior to the progression of the biochemical reactions in the NHEJ pathway. Instead of the traditional step-by-step assembly model from the static view of NHEJ, a novel model for dynamic protein assembly in the NHEJ pathway is proposed. This new model provides important mechanistic insights into the protein assembly at DSBs and the regulation of DSB repair.
Journal of Radiation Research 04/2009; 50(2):97-108. · 1.45 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA transfection can be too inefficient to establish a desired number of stable transfectants, particularly in lymphocytes; however, this could be circumvented by increasing the absolute frequency of random integration. In this paper, we show that treating cells with topoisomerase II inhibitor following electroporation greatly (approximately 10- to 20-fold) enhances random integration of input DNA in a human pre-B lymphocyte cell line, Nalm-6. With the use of various kinds of topoisomerase II-targeting agents, we also present evidence that topoisomerase IIalpha inhibition is critical for the enhancement of random integration, while the contribution of topoisomerase IIbeta may be negligible. As topoisomerase IIalpha is highly expressed in vigorously growing cells, our results show that topoisomerase IIalpha inhibition provides a promising way of enhancing random integration in virtually all cultured cell lines.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 04/2009; 382(3):492-6. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Di-2-pyridylketone-4,4,-dimethyl-3-thiosemicarbazone (Dp44mT) is being developed as an iron chelator with selective anticancer activity. We investigated the mechanism whereby Dp44mT kills breast cancer cells, both as a single agent and in combination with doxorubicin. Dp44mT alone induced selective cell killing in the breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 when compared with healthy mammary epithelial cells (MCF-12A). It induces G(1) cell cycle arrest and reduces cancer cell clonogenic growth at nanomolar concentrations. Dp44mT, but not the iron chelator desferal, induces DNA double-strand breaks quantified as S139 phosphorylated histone foci (gamma-H2AX) and Comet tails induced in MDA-MB-231 cells. Doxorubicin-induced cytotoxicity and DNA damage were both enhanced significantly in the presence of low concentrations of Dp44mT. The chelator caused selective poisoning of DNA topoisomerase IIalpha (top2alpha) as measured by an in vitro DNA cleavage assay and cellular topoisomerase-DNA complex formation. Heterozygous Nalm-6 top2alpha knockout cells (top2alpha(+/-)) were partially resistant to Dp44mT-induced cytotoxicity compared with isogenic top2alpha(+/+) or top2beta(-/-) cells. Specificity for top2alpha was confirmed using top2alpha and top2beta small interfering RNA knockdown in HeLa cells. The results show that Dp44mT is cytotoxic to breast cancer cells, at least in part, due to selective inhibition of top2alpha. Thus, Dp44mT may serve as a mechanistically unique treatment for cancer due to its dual ability to chelate iron and inhibit top2alpha activity.
Cancer Research 02/2009; 69(3):948-57. · 8.65 Impact Factor