[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Homologous recombination (HR) is initiated by double-strand break (DSB) resection, during which DSBs are processed by nucleases to generate 3' single-strand DNA. DSB resection is initiated by CtIP and Mre11 followed by long-range resection by Dna2 and Exo1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To analyze the relative contribution of four nucleases, CtIP, Mre11, Dna2 and Exo1, to DSB resection, we disrupted genes encoding these nucleases in chicken DT40 cells. CtIP and Dna2 are required for DSB resection, whereas Exo1 is dispensable even in the absence of Dna2, which observation agrees with no developmental defect in Exo1-deficient mice. Despite the critical role of Mre11 in DSB resection in S. cerevisiae, loss of Mre11 only modestly impairs DSB resection in DT40 cells. To further test the role of CtIP and Mre11 in other species, we conditionally disrupted CtIP and MRE11 genes in the human TK6 B cell line. As with DT40 cells, CtIP contributes to DSB resection considerably more significantly than Mre11 in TK6 cells. Considering the critical role of Mre11 in HR, this study suggests that Mre11 is involved in a mechanism other than DSB resection. In summary, CtIP and Dna2 are sufficient for DSB resection to ensure efficient DSB repair by HR.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Eukaryotic DNA replication is initiated through stepwise assembly of evolutionarily conserved replication proteins onto replication origins, but how the origin DNA is unwound during the assembly process remains elusive. Here, we established a site-specific origin on a plasmid DNA, using in vitro replication systems derived from Xenopus egg extracts. We found that the pre-replicative complex (pre-RC) was preferentially assembled in the vicinity of GAL4 DNA-binding sites of the plasmid, depending on the binding of Cdc6 fused with a GAL4 DNA-binding domain in Cdc6-depleted extracts. Subsequent addition of nucleoplasmic S-phase extracts to the GAL4-dependent pre-RC promoted initiation of DNA replication from the origin, and components of the pre-initiation complex (pre-IC) and the replisome were recruited to the origin concomitant with origin unwinding. In this replication system, RecQ4 is dispensable for both recruitment of Cdc45 onto the origin and stable binding of Cdc45 and GINS to the pre-RC assembled plasmid. However, both origin binding of DNA polymerase α and unwinding of DNA were diminished upon depletion of RecQ4 from the extracts. These results suggest that RecQ4 plays an important role in the conversion of pre-ICs into active replisomes requiring the unwinding of origin DNA in vertebrates.
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Caspase-activated DNase (CAD) is a major apoptotic nuclease, responsible for DNA fragmentation and chromatin condensation
during apoptosis. CAD is normally activated in apoptosis as a result of caspase cleavage of its inhibitory chaperone ICAD.
Other aspects of CAD regulation are poorly understood. In particular, it has been unclear whether direct CAD activation in
non-apoptotic living cells can trigger cell death. Taking advantage of the auxin-inducible degron (AID) system, we have developed
a suicide system with which ICAD is rapidly degraded in living cells in response to the plant hormone auxin. Our studies demonstrate
that rapid ICAD depletion is sufficient to activate CAD and induce cell death in DT40 and yeast cells. In the vertebrate cells,
ectopic CAD activation triggered caspase activation and subsequent hallmarks of caspase-dependent apoptotic changes, including
phosphatidylserine exposure and nuclear fragmentation. These observations not only suggest that CAD activation drives apoptosis
through a positive feedback loop, but also identify a unique suicide system that can be used for controlling gene-modified
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) delays anaphase until all chromosomes are bioriented on the mitotic spindle. Under current models, unattached kinetochores transduce the SAC by catalyzing the intramitotic production of a diffusible inhibitor of APC/C(Cdc20) (the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome and its coactivator Cdc20, a large ubiquitin ligase). Here we show that nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) in interphase cells also function as scaffolds for anaphase-inhibitory signaling. This role is mediated by Mad1-Mad2 complexes tethered to the nuclear basket, which activate soluble Mad2 as a binding partner and inhibitor of Cdc20 in the cytoplasm. Displacing Mad1-Mad2 from nuclear pores accelerated anaphase onset, prevented effective correction of merotelic errors, and increased the threshold of kinetochore-dependent signaling needed to halt mitosis in response to spindle poisons. A heterologous Mad1-NPC tether restored Cdc20 inhibitor production and normal M phase control. We conclude that nuclear pores and kinetochores both emit "wait anaphase" signals that preserve genome integrity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ring-shaped complex PCNA coordinates DNA replication, encircling DNA to act as a polymerase clamp and a sliding platform to recruit other replication proteins. PCNA is loaded onto DNA by replication factor C, but it has been unknown how PCNA is removed from DNA when Okazaki fragments are completed or the replication fork terminates. Here we show that the Elg1 replication factor C-like complex (Elg1-RLC) functions in PCNA unloading. Using an improved degron system we show that without Elg1, PCNA accumulates on Saccharomyces cerevisiae chromatin during replication. The accumulated PCNA can be removed from chromatin in vivo by switching on Elg1 expression. We find moreover that treating chromatin with purified Elg1-RLC causes PCNA unloading in vitro. Our results demonstrate that Elg1-RLC functions in unloading of both unmodified and SUMOylated PCNA during DNA replication, while the genome instability of an elg1Δ mutant suggests timely PCNA unloading is critical for chromosome maintenance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is useful to artificially control the expression levels of a protein of interest (POI), not only for its characterization in vivo, but also for the modulation of biological pathways. Overexpression of a POI is relatively easy because it is possible to drive its expression from a transgene encoding the POI under the control of a strong promoter. However, it is more challenging to reduce or deplete the expression of a POI. A protein domain called "degron", which induces rapid proteolysis by the proteasome, can be used for this purpose. Degron-based technologies for the conditional depletion of POI-degron fusion proteins have been developed by exploiting various pathways leading to proteasomal degradation. Compared with other depletion technologies that control the expression levels of POIs at the DNA or mRNA levels, these protein-depletion approaches are advantageous in terms of specificity, reversibility, and the time required for depletion. Current conditional degron-based technologies are described and discussed.
No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs) are highly toxic lesions that stall the replication fork to initiate the repair process during the S phase of vertebrates. Proteins involved in Fanconi anemia (FA), nucleotide excision repair (NER), and translesion synthesis (TS) collaboratively lead to homologous recombination (HR) repair. However, it is not understood how ICL-induced HR repair is carried out and completed. Here, we showed that the replicative helicase-related Mcm family of proteins, Mcm8 and Mcm9, forms a complex required for HR repair induced by ICLs. Chicken DT40 cells lacking MCM8 or MCM9 are viable but highly sensitive to ICL-inducing agents, and exhibit more chromosome aberrations in the presence of mitomycin C compared with wild-type cells. During ICL repair, Mcm8 and Mcm9 form nuclear foci that partly colocalize with Rad51. Mcm8-9 works downstream of the FA and BRCA2/Rad51 pathways, and is required for HR that promotes sister chromatid exchanges, probably as a hexameric ATPase/helicase.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic DNA replication is initiated at multiple origins of replication, where many replication proteins assemble under the control of the cell cycle . A key process of replication initiation is to convert inactive Mcm2-7 to active Cdc45-Mcm-GINS (CMG) replicative helicase . However, it is not known whether the CMG assembly would automatically activate its helicase activity and thus assemble the replisome. Mcm10 is an evolutionally conserved essential protein required for the initiation of replication [3, 4]. Although the roles of many proteins involved in the initiation are understood, the role of Mcm10 remains controversial [5-9]. To characterize Mcm10 in more detail, we constructed budding yeast cells bearing a degron-fused Mcm10 protein that can be efficiently degraded in response to auxin. In the absence of Mcm10, a stable CMG complex was assembled at origins. However, subsequent translocation of CMG, replication protein A loading to origins, and the intra-S checkpoint activation were severely diminished, suggesting that origin unwinding is defective. We also found that Mcm10 associates with origins during initiation in an S-cyclin-dependent kinase- and Cdc45-dependent manner. Thus, Mcm10 plays an essential role in functioning of the CMG replicative helicase independent of assembly of a stable CMG complex at origins.
Preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Current biology: CB
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Histone modifications are important epigenetic features of chromatin that must be replicated faithfully. However, the molecular mechanisms required to duplicate and maintain histone modification patterns in chromatin remain to be determined. Here, we show that the introduction of histone modifications into newly deposited nucleosomes depends upon their location in the chromosome. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, newly deposited nucleosomes consisting of newly synthesized histone H3-H4 tetramers are distributed throughout the entire chromosome. Methylation of lysine 4 on histone H3 (H3-K4), a hallmark of euchromatin, is introduced into these newly deposited nucleosomes, regardless of whether the neighboring preexisting nucleosomes harbor the K4 mutation in histone H3. Furthermore, if the heterochromatin-binding protein Sir3 is unavailable during DNA replication, histone H3-K4 methylation is introduced onto newly deposited nucleosomes in telomeric heterochromatin. Thus, a conservative distribution model most accurately explains the inheritance of histone modifications because the location of histones within euchromatin or heterochromatin determines which histone modifications are introduced.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic screening of yeast for sld (synthetic lethality with dpb11) mutations has identified replication proteins, including Sld2, -3, and -5, and clarified the molecular mechanisms underlying eukaryotic chromosomal DNA replication. Here, we report a new replication protein, Sld7, identified by rescreening of sld mutations. Throughout the cell cycle, Sld7 forms a complex with Sld3, which associates with replication origins in a complex with Cdc45, binds to Dpb11 when phosphorylated by cyclin-dependent kinase, and dissociates from origins once DNA replication starts. However, Sld7 does not move with the replication fork. Sld7 binds to the nonessential N-terminal portion of Sld3 and reduces its affinity for Cdc45, a component of the replication fork. Although Sld7 is not essential for cell growth, its absence reduces the level of cellular Sld3, delays the dissociation from origins of GINS, a component of the replication fork, and slows S-phase progression. These results suggest that Sld7 is required for the proper function of Sld3 at the initiation of DNA replication.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inducible inactivation of a protein is a powerful approach for analysis of its function within cells. Fission yeast is a useful model for studying the fundamental mechanisms such as chromosome maintenance and cell cycle. However, previously published strategies for protein-depletion are successful only for some proteins in some specific conditions and still do not achieve efficient depletion to cause acute phenotypes such as immediate cell cycle arrest. The aim of this work was to construct a useful and powerful protein-depletion system in Shizosaccaromyces pombe.
We constructed an auxin-inducible degron (AID) system, which utilizes auxin-dependent poly-ubiquitination of Aux/IAA proteins by SCFTIR1 in plants, in fission yeast. Although expression of a plant F-box protein, TIR1, decreased Mcm4-aid, a component of the MCM complex essential for DNA replication tagged with Aux/IAA peptide, depletion did not result in an evident growth defect. We successfully improved degradation efficiency of Mcm4-aid by fusion of TIR1 with fission yeast Skp1, a conserved F-box-interacting component of SCF (improved-AID system; i-AID), and the cells showed severe defect in growth. The i-AID system induced degradation of Mcm4-aid in the chromatin-bound MCM complex as well as those in soluble fractions. The i-AID system in conjunction with transcription repression (off-AID system), we achieved more efficient depletion of other proteins including Pol1 and Cdc45, causing early S phase arrest.
Improvement of the AID system allowed us to construct conditional null mutants of S. pombe. We propose that the off-AID system is the powerful method for in vivo protein-depletion in fission yeast.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sister chromatid separation is initiated at anaphase onset by the activation of separase, which removes cohesins from chromosomes. However, it remains elusive how sister chromatid separation is completed along the entire chromosome length. Here we found that, during early anaphase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, sister chromatids separate gradually from centromeres to telomeres, accompanied by regional chromosome stretching and subsequent recoiling. The stretching results from residual cohesion between sister chromatids, which prevents their immediate separation. This residual cohesion is at least partly dependent on cohesins that have escaped removal by separase at anaphase onset. Meanwhile, recoiling of a stretched chromosome region requires condensins and generates forces to remove residual cohesion. We provide evidence that condensins promote chromosome recoiling directly in vivo, which is distinct from their known function in resolving sister chromatids. Our work identifies residual sister chromatid cohesion during early anaphase and reveals condensins' roles in chromosome recoiling, which eliminates residual cohesion to complete sister chromatid separation.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Developmental Cell
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plants have evolved a unique system in which the plant hormone auxin directly induces rapid degradation of the AUX/IAA family of transcription repressors by a specific form of the SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase. Other eukaryotes lack the auxin response but share the SCF degradation pathway, allowing us to transplant the auxin-inducible degron (AID) system into nonplant cells and use a small molecule to conditionally control protein stability. The AID system allowed rapid and reversible degradation of target proteins in response to auxin and enabled us to generate efficient conditional mutants of essential proteins in yeast as well as cell lines derived from chicken, mouse, hamster, monkey and human cells, thus offering a powerful tool to control protein expression and study protein function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The components of the replisome that preserve genomic stability by controlling the progression of eukaryotic DNA replication forks are poorly understood. Here, we show that the GINS (go ichi ni san) complex allows the MCM (minichromosome maintenance) helicase to interact with key regulatory proteins in large replisome progression complexes (RPCs) that are assembled during initiation and disassembled at the end of S phase. RPC components include the essential initiation and elongation factor, Cdc45, the checkpoint mediator Mrc1, the Tof1-Csm3 complex that allows replication forks to pause at protein-DNA barriers, the histone chaperone FACT (facilitates chromatin transcription) and Ctf4, which helps to establish sister chromatid cohesion. RPCs also interact with Mcm10 and topoisomerase I. During initiation, GINS is essential for a specific subset of RPC proteins to interact with MCM. GINS is also important for the normal progression of DNA replication forks, and we show that it is required after initiation to maintain the association between MCM and Cdc45 within RPCs.
Full-text · Article · May 2006 · Nature Cell Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Cdc45 protein is crucial for the initiation of chromosome replication in eukaryotic cells, as it allows the activation of prereplication complexes (pre-RCs) that contain the MCM helicase. This causes the unwinding of origins and the establishment of DNA replication forks. The incorporation of Cdc45 at nascent forks is a highly regulated and poorly understood process that requires, in budding yeast, the Sld3 protein and the GINS complex. Previous studies suggested that Sld3 is also important for the progression of DNA replication forks after the initiation step, as are Cdc45 and GINS. In contrast, we show here that Sld3 does not move with DNA replication forks and only associates with MCM in an unstable manner before initiation. After the establishment of DNA replication forks from early origins, Sld3 is no longer essential for the completion of chromosome replication. Unlike Sld3, GINS is not required for the initial recruitment of Cdc45 to origins and instead is necessary for stable engagement of Cdc45 with the nascent replisome. Like Cdc45, GINS then associates stably with MCM during S-phase.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eukaryotic cells regulate the progression and integrity of DNA replication forks to maintain genomic stability and couple DNA synthesis to other processes. The budding yeast proteins Mrc1 and Tof1 associate with the putative MCM-Cdc45 helicase and limit progression of the replisome when nucleotides are depleted, and the checkpoint kinases Mec1 and Rad53 stabilize such stalled forks and prevent disassembly of the replisome. Forks also pause transiently during unperturbed chromosome replication, at sites where nonnucleosomal proteins bind DNA tightly. We describe a method for inducing prolonged pausing of forks at protein barriers assembled at unique sites on a yeast chromosome, allowing us to examine for the first time the effects of pausing upon replisome integrity. We show that paused forks maintain an intact replisome that contains Mrc1, Tof1, MCM-Cdc45, GINS, and DNA polymerases alpha and epsilon and that recruits the Rrm3 helicase. Surprisingly, pausing does not require Mrc1, although Tof1 and Csm3 are both important. In addition, the integrity of the paused forks does not require Mec1, Rad53, or recombination. We also show that paused forks at analogous barriers in the rDNA are regulated similarly. These data indicate that paused and stalled eukaryotic replisomes resemble each other but are regulated differently.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2005 · Genes & Development
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One effective way to study the biological function of a protein in vivo is to inactivate it and see what happens to the cell. For proteins that are dispensable for cell viability, the corresponding gene can simply be deleted from its chromosomal locus. The study of essential proteins is more challenging, however, because the function of the protein must be inactivated conditionally. Here, we describe a method that allows the target protein to be depleted rapidly and conditionally, so that the immediate effects on the cell can be examined. The chromosomal locus of a budding yeast gene is modified so that a "heat-inducible degron cassette" is added to the N terminus of the encoded protein, causing it to be degraded by a specific ubiquitin-mediated pathway when cells are shifted from 24 degrees to 37 degrees C. Degradation requires recognition of the degron cassette by the evolutionarily conserved Ubr1 protein, which is associated with a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme. To promote rapid and conditional depletion of the target protein, we use a yeast strain in which expression of the UBR1 gene can be either repressed or strongly induced. Degron strains are constructed by a simple "one-step" approach using the polymerase chain reaction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evolutionarily diverse eukaryotic cells share many conserved proteins of unknown function. Some are essential for cell viability, emphasising their importance for fundamental processes of cell biology but complicating their analysis. We have developed an approach to the large-scale characterization of such proteins, based on conditional and rapid degradation of the target protein in vivo, so that the immediate consequences of bulk protein depletion can be examined. Budding yeast strains have been constructed in which essential proteins of unknown function have been fused to a 'heat-inducible-degron' cassette that targets the protein for proteolysis at 37 degrees C (ref. 4). By screening the collection for defects in cell-cycle progression, here we identify three DNA replication factors that interact with each other and that have uncharacterized homologues in human cells. We have used the degron strains to show that these proteins are required for the establishment and normal progression of DNA replication forks. The degron collection could also be used to identify other, essential, proteins with roles in many other processes of eukaryotic cell biology.