Analysis of Individual Molecular Events of DNA Damage Response by Flow- and Image-Assisted Cytometry

Brander Cancer Research Institute and Department of Pathology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, USA.
Methods in cell biology (Impact Factor: 1.42). 12/2011; 103:115-47. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-385493-3.00006-1
Source: PubMed


This chapter describes molecular mechanisms of DNA damage response (DDR) and presents flow- and image-assisted cytometric approaches to assess these mechanisms and measure the extent of DDR in individual cells. DNA damage was induced by cell treatment with oxidizing agents, UV light, DNA topoisomerase I or II inhibitors, cisplatin, tobacco smoke, and by exogenous and endogenous oxidants. Chromatin relaxation (decondensation) is an early event of DDR chromatin that involves modification of high mobility group proteins (HMGs) and histone H1 and was detected by cytometry by analysis of the susceptibility of DNA in situ to denaturation using the metachromatic fluorochrome acridine orange. Translocation of the MRN complex consisting of Meiotic Recombination 11 Homolog A (Mre11), Rad50 homolog, and Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome 1 (NMR1) into DNA damage sites was assessed by laser scanning cytometry as the increase in the intensity of maximal pixel as well as integral value of Mre11 immunofluorescence. Examples of cytometric detection of activation of Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM), and Check 2 (Chk2) protein kinases using phospho-specific Abs targeting Ser1981 and Thr68 of these proteins, respectively are also presented. We also discuss approaches to correlate activation of ATM and Chk2 with phosphorylation of p53 on Ser15 and histone H2AX on Ser139 as well as with cell cycle position and DNA replication. The capability of laser scanning cytometry to quantify individual foci of phosphorylated H2AX and/or ATM that provides more dependable assessment of the presence of DNA double-strand breaks is outlined. The new microfluidic Lab-on-a-Chip platforms for interrogation of individual cells offer a novel approach for DDR cytometric analysis.

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Available from: Donald Wlodkowic, Sep 23, 2015
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    • "By applying SCNP to simultaneously measure DNA damage and activation of multiple DDR pathways in distinct cell cycle subsets, and by using cell lines with known mutations in DDR signaling, data from the current study support the following major conclusions: First, while the ability to measure p-H2AX, p-ATM, p-Chk2 and p-DNA-PKcs using flow cytometry is well established [7,23-28], these data provide examples of methods to measure activation of additional DNA repair proteins from repair pathways including NHEJ (p-53BP1) and HRR (p-RPA2, p-BRCA1) using flow cytometry. Second, by controlling for proliferation rate through a focused SCNP analysis of CyclinA2+ cells, these data demonstrate the ability to functionally identify and differentiate cells with partially impaired (BRCA1+/-) or completely defective (BRCA2-/-) HRR repair machinery. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Homologous recombination repair (HRR) pathway deficiencies have significant implications for cancer predisposition and treatment strategies. Improved quantitative methods for functionally characterizing these deficiencies are required to accurately identify patients at risk of developing cancer and to identify mechanisms of drug resistance or sensitivity. Methods Flow cytometry-based single cell network profiling (SCNP) was used to measure drug-induced activation of DNA damage response (DDR) proteins in cell lines with defined HRR pathway mutations (including ATM-/-, ATM+/-, BRCA1+/-, BRCA2-/-) and in primary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples. Both non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and HRR pathways were examined by measuring changes in intracellular readouts (including p-H2AX, p-ATM, p-DNA-PKcs, p-53BP1, p-RPA2/32, p-BRCA1, p-p53, and p21) in response to exposure to mechanistically distinct genotoxins. The cell cycle S/G2/M phase CyclinA2 marker was used to normalize for proliferation rates. Results Etoposide induced proliferation-independent DNA damage and activation of multiple DDR proteins in primary AML cells and ATM +/+but not ATM -/- cell lines. Treatment with the PARPi AZD2281 +/- temozolomide induced DNA damage in CyclinA2+ cells in both primary AML cells and cell lines and distngiushed cell lines deficient (BRCA2-/-) or impaired (BRCA1+/-) in HRR activity from BRCA1+/+ cell lines based on p-H2AX induction. Application of this assay to primary AML samples identified heterogeneous patterns of repair activity including muted or proficient activation of NHEJ and HRR pathways and predominant activation of NHEJ in a subset of samples. Conclusions SCNP identified functional DDR readouts in both NHEJ and HRR pathways, which can be applied to identify cells with BRCA1+/- haploinsuffiency and characterize differential DDR pathway functionality in primary clinical samples.
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