Robert J Crouch

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Роквилл, Maryland, United States

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Publications (62)438.01 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: DNA polymerase η (pol η) is best characterized for its ability to perform accurate and efficient translesion DNA synthesis (TLS) through cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs). To ensure accurate bypass the polymerase is not only required to select the correct base, but also discriminate between NTPs and dNTPs. Most DNA polymerases have a conserved "steric gate" residue which functions to prevent incorporation of NMPs during DNA synthesis. Here, we demonstrate that the Phe35 residue of Saccharomyces cerevisiae pol η functions as a steric gate to limit the use of ribonucleotides during polymerization both in vitro and in vivo. Unlike the related pol ι enzyme, wild-type pol η does not readily incorporate NMPs in vitro. In contrast, a pol η F35A mutant incorporates NMPs on both damaged and undamaged DNA in vitro with a high degree of base selectivity. An S.cerevisiae strain expressing pol η F35A (rad30-F35A) that is also deficient for nucleotide excision repair (rad1Δ) and the TLS polymerase, pol ζ (rev3Δ), is extremely sensitive to UV-light. The sensitivity is due, in part, to RNase H2 activity, as an isogenic rnh201Δ strain is roughly 50-fold more UV-resistant than its RNH201(+) counterpart. Interestingly the rad1Δ rev3Δ rad30-F35A rnh201Δ strain exhibits a significant increase in the extent of spontaneous mutagenesis with a spectrum dominated by 1bp deletions at runs of template Ts. We hypothesize that the increased mutagenesis is due to rA incorporation at these sites and that the short poly rA tract is subsequently repaired in an error-prone manner by a novel repair pathway that is specifically targeted to polyribonucleotide tracks. These data indicate that under certain conditions, pol η can compete with the cell's replicases and gain access to undamaged genomic DNA. Such observations are consistent with a role for pol η in replicating common fragile sites (CFS) in human cells. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · DNA repair
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    ABSTRACT: Encoding ribonuclease H1 (RNase H1) degrades RNA hybridized to DNA, and its function is essential for mitochondrial DNA maintenance in the developing mouse. Here we define the role of RNase H1 in mitochondrial DNA replication. Analysis of replicating mitochondrial DNA in embryonic fibroblasts lacking RNase H1 reveals retention of three primers in the major noncoding region (NCR) and one at the prominent lagging-strand initiation site termed Ori-L. Primer retention does not lead immediately to depletion, as the persistent RNA is fully incorporated in mitochondrial DNA. However, the retained primers present an obstacle to the mitochondrial DNA polymerase γ in subsequent rounds of replication and lead to the catastrophic generation of a double-strand break at the origin when the resulting gapped molecules are copied. Hence, the essential role of RNase H1 in mitochondrial DNA replication is the removal of primers at the origin of replication.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: La antigen (Sjögren's syndrome antigen B) is a phosphoprotein associated with nascent precursor tRNAs and other RNAs, and it is targeted by autoantibodies in patients with Sjögren's syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, and neonatal lupus. Increased levels of La are associated with leukemias and other cancers, and various viruses usurp La to promote their replication. Yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe) genetically depleted of La grow and proliferate, whereas deletion from mice causes early embryonic lethality, raising the question of whether La is required by mammalian cells generally or only to surpass a developmental stage. We developed a conditional La allele and used it in mice that express Cre recombinase in either B cell progenitors or the forebrain. B cell Mb1Cre La-deleted mice produce no B cells. Consistent with αCamKII Cre, which induces deletion in hippocampal CA1 cells in the third postnatal week and later throughout the neocortex, brains develop normally in La-deleted mice until ∼5 weeks and then lose a large amount of forebrain cells and mass, with evidence of altered pre-tRNA processing. The data indicate that La is required not only in proliferating cells but also in nondividing postmitotic cells. Thus, La is essential in different cell types and required for normal development of various tissue types.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Molecular and Cellular Biology
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    ABSTRACT: La antigen (Sjögren's syndrome antigen-B) is a phosphoprotein associated with nascent precursor-tRNAs and other RNAs, that is targeted by autoantibodies in patients with Sjögren's syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus and neonatal lupus. Increased levels of La are associated with leukemias and other cancers, and various viruses usurp La to promote their replication. Yeast cells genetically depleted of La grow and proliferate whereas deletion from mice causes early embryonic lethality, raising the question of whether La is required by mammalian cells generally or only to surpass a developmental stage. We developed a conditional La allele and used it in mice that express Cre recombinase in either B cell progenitors or forebrain. B cell Mb1-Cre La-deleted mice produce no B cells. Consistent with αCamKII Cre which induces deletion in hippocampal CA1 cells in the third postnatal week and later throughout the neocortex, brains develop normally in La-deleted mice until ∼5 weeks and then lose a large amount of forebrain cells and mass with evidence of altered pre-tRNA processing. The data indicate that La is required not only in proliferating cells but also in non-dividing post-mitotic cells. Thus La is essential in different cell types and required for normal development of various tissue types.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Molecular and Cellular Biology
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    Full-text · Dataset · Jul 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Ribonuclease H2 (RNase H2) protects genome integrity by its dual roles of resolving transcription-related R-loops and ribonucleotides incorporated in DNA during replication. To unlink these two functions, we generated a Saccharomyces cerevisiae RNase H2 mutant that can resolve R-loops but cannot cleave single ribonucleotides in DNA. This mutant definitively correlates the 2–5 bp deletions observed in rnh201Δ strains with single rNMPs in DNA. It also establishes a connection between R-loops and Sgs1-mediated replication reinitiation at stalled forks and identifies R-loops uniquely processed by RNase H2. In mouse, deletion of any of the genes coding for RNase H2 results in embryonic lethality, and in humans, RNase H2 hypomorphic mutations cause Aicardi–Goutières syndrome (AGS), a neuroinflammatory disorder. To determine the contribution of R-loops and rNMP in DNA to the defects observed in AGS, we characterized in yeast an AGS-related mutation, which is impaired in processing both substrates, but has sufficient R-loop degradation activity to complement the defects of rnh201Δ sgs1Δ strains. However, this AGS-related mutation accumulates 2–5 bp deletions at a very similar rate as the deletion strain.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Nucleic Acids Research

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Mitochondrion
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    ABSTRACT: Ribonucleotides are incorporated into DNA by the replicative DNA polymerases at frequencies of about 2 per kb, which makes them by far the most abundant form of potential DNA damage in the cell. Their removal is essential for restoring a stable intact chromosome. Here, we present a complete biochemical reconstitution of the ribonucleotide excision repair (RER) pathway with enzymes purified from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. RER is most efficient when the ribonucleotide is incised by RNase H2, and further excised by the flap endonuclease FEN1 with strand displacement synthesis carried out by DNA polymerase δ, the PCNA clamp, its loader RFC, and completed by DNA ligase I. We observed partial redundancy for several of the enzymes in this pathway. Exo1 substitutes for FEN1 and Pol ε for Pol δ with reasonable efficiency. However, RNase H1 fails to substitute for RNase H2 in the incision step of RER.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Molecular cell
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    M. Figiel · H. Chon · S. Cerritelli · M. Cybulska · R. J. Crouch · M. Nowotny

    Preview · Article · Aug 2011 · Acta Crystallographica Section A Foundations of Crystallography
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    Susana M Cerritelli · Hyongi Chon · Robert J Crouch
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    ABSTRACT: The worlds of RNA and DNA are not entirely separate. They frequently come together when RNA/DNA hybrids form during replication and transcription, which often induces genome instability (1–3). An enzyme called topoisomerase (Top) plays an important role in preventing RNA/DNA annealing during transcription (1). Another enzyme, ribonuclease H (RNase H), helps maintain genome integrity by removing RNA from hybrids (2, 3). On page 1561 of this issue, Kim et al. (4) report that Top1, one of the two types of topoisomerase, not only prevents the formation of often deleterious hybrid structures called R-loops, but also participates in the removal of single ribonucleotides (rNMPs), which are incorporated during DNA replication and have escaped the repair system. Using yeast, Kim et al. also show that, when there is a rNMP at the site of Top1 cleavage, the enzyme can create irreversible breaks in the DNA strand, assaulting genome stability and perhaps contributing to disease.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Science
  • Susana M. Cerritelli · Hyongi Chon · Robert J. Crouch

    No preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Science
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    ABSTRACT: Background / Purpose: Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is organized in multicopy nucleoprotein complexes, or nucleoids. We are defining and characterising the protein components of the mitochondrial nucleoid with the aim of understanding how mtDNA is maintained and segregated in normal and disease states. Main conclusion: We indicate that two well-known cytoskeletal proteins, non-muscle myosin heavy chain IIA and β-actin, are tightly associated with mtDNA, inside mitochondria, and modulation of their expression perturbs mitochondrial DNA metabolism. These findings open up a new area of cell biology: the role of actomyosin in mitochondrial DNA maintenance and segregation.
    No preview · Conference Paper · Apr 2011
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    ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial DNA maintenance and segregation are dependent on the actin cytoskeleton in budding yeast. We found two cytoskeletal proteins among six proteins tightly associated with rat liver mitochondrial DNA: non-muscle myosin heavy chain IIA and β-actin. In human cells, transient gene silencing of MYH9 (encoding non-muscle myosin heavy chain IIA), or the closely related MYH10 gene (encoding non-muscle myosin heavy chain IIB), altered the topology and increased the copy number of mitochondrial DNA; and the latter effect was enhanced when both genes were targeted simultaneously. In contrast, genetic ablation of non-muscle myosin IIB was associated with a 60% decrease in mitochondrial DNA copy number in mouse embryonic fibroblasts, compared to control cells. Gene silencing of β-actin also affected mitochondrial DNA copy number and organization. Protease-protection experiments and iodixanol gradient analysis suggest some β-actin and non-muscle myosin heavy chain IIA reside within human mitochondria and confirm that they are associated with mitochondrial DNA. Collectively, these results strongly implicate the actomyosin cytoskeleton in mammalian mitochondrial DNA maintenance.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Nucleic Acids Research
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    ABSTRACT: RNase H2 cleaves RNA sequences that are part of RNA/DNA hybrids or that are incorporated into DNA, thus, preventing genomic instability and the accumulation of aberrant nucleic acid, which in humans induces Aicardi-Goutières syndrome, a severe autoimmune disorder. The 3.1 Å crystal structure of human RNase H2 presented here allowed us to map the positions of all 29 mutations found in Aicardi-Goutières syndrome patients, several of which were not visible in the previously reported mouse RNase H2. We propose the possible effects of these mutations on the protein stability and function. Bacterial and eukaryotic RNases H2 differ in composition and substrate specificity. Bacterial RNases H2 are monomeric proteins and homologs of the eukaryotic RNases H2 catalytic subunit, which in addition possesses two accessory proteins. The eukaryotic RNase H2 heterotrimeric complex recognizes RNA/DNA hybrids and (5')RNA-DNA(3')/DNA junction hybrids as substrates with similar efficiency, whereas bacterial RNases H2 are highly specialized in the recognition of the (5')RNA-DNA(3') junction and very poorly cleave RNA/DNA hybrids in the presence of Mg(2+) ions. Using the crystal structure of the Thermotoga maritima RNase H2-substrate complex, we modeled the human RNase H2-substrate complex and verified the model by mutational analysis. Our model indicates that the difference in substrate preference stems from the different position of the crucial tyrosine residue involved in substrate binding and recognition.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2010 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: RNase H1 in mammalian cells is present in nuclei and mitochondria. Its absence in mitochondria results in embryonic lethality due to the failure to amplify mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Dual localization to mitochondria and nuclei results from differential translation initiation at two in-frame AUGs (M1 and M27) of a single mRNA. Here we show that expression levels of the two isoforms depend on the efficiency of translation initiation at each AUG codon and on the presence of a short upstream open reading frame (uORF) resulting in the mitochondrial isoform being about 10% as abundant as the nuclear form. Translation initiation at the M1 AUG is restricted by the uORF, while expression of the nuclear isoform requires reinitiation of ribosomes at the M27 AUG after termination of uORF translation or new initiation by ribosomes skipping the uORF and the M1 AUG. Such translational organization of RNase H1 allows tight control of expression of RNase H1 in mitochondria, where its excess or absence can lead to cell death, without affecting the expression of the nuclear RNase H1.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Molecular and Cellular Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Two classes of RNase H hydrolyze RNA of RNA/DNA hybrids. In contrast to RNase H1 that requires four ribonucleotides for cleavage, RNase H2 can nick duplex DNAs containing a single ribonucleotide, suggesting different in vivo substrates. We report here the crystal structures of a type 2 RNase H in complex with substrates containing a (5')RNA-DNA(3') junction. They revealed a unique mechanism of recognition and substrate-assisted cleavage. A conserved tyrosine residue distorts the nucleic acid at the junction, allowing the substrate to function in catalysis by participating in coordination of the active site metal ion. The biochemical and structural properties of RNase H2 explain the preference of the enzyme for junction substrates and establish the structural and mechanistic differences with RNase H1. Junction recognition is important for the removal of RNA embedded in DNA and may play an important role in DNA replication and repair.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2010 · Molecular cell
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    ABSTRACT: We demonstrate, using transmission electron microscopy and immunopurification with an antibody specific for RNA/DNA hybrid, that intact mitochondrial DNA replication intermediates are essentially duplex throughout their length but contain extensive RNA tracts on one strand. However, the extent of preservation of RNA in such molecules is highly dependent on the preparative method used. These findings strongly support the strand-coupled model of mitochondrial DNA replication involving RNA incorporation throughout the lagging strand.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2010 · Journal of Molecular Biology

  • No preview · Article · Mar 2010 · Mitochondrion
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    Marcin Nowotny · Sergei Gaidamakov · Robert J. Crouch · Wei Yang

    Preview · Article · Aug 2009 · Acta Crystallographica Section A Foundations of Crystallography
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    Susana M Cerritelli · Robert J Crouch
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    ABSTRACT: Ribonucleases H are enzymes that cleave the RNA of RNA/DNA hybrids that form during replication and repair and which could lead to DNA instability if they were not processed. There are two main types of RNase H, and at least one of them is present in most organisms. Eukaryotic RNases H are larger and more complex than their prokaryotic counterparts. Eukaryotic RNase H1 has acquired a hybrid binding domain that confers processivity and affinity for the substrate, whereas eukaryotic RNase H2 is composed of three different proteins: the catalytic subunit (2A), similar to the monomeric prokaryotic RNase HII, and two other subunits (2B and 2C) that have no prokaryotic counterparts and as yet unknown functions, but that are necessary for catalysis. In this minireview, we discuss some of the most recent findings on eukaryotic RNases H1 and H2, focusing on the structural data on complexes between human RNase H1 and RNA/DNA hybrids that had provided great detail of how the hybrid binding- and RNase H-domains recognize and cleave the RNA strand of the hybrid substrates. We also describe the progress made in understanding the in vivo function of eukaryotic RNases H. Although prokayotes and some single-cell eukaryotes do not require RNases H for viability, in higher eukaryotes RNases H are essential. Rnaseh1 null mice arrest development around E8.5 because RNase H1 is necessary during embryogenesis for mitochondrial DNA replication. Mutations in any of the three subunits of human RNase H2 cause Aicardi-Goutières syndrome, a human neurological disorder with devastating consequences.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2009 · FEBS Journal

Publication Stats

3k Citations
438.01 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1998-2015
    • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
      Роквилл, Maryland, United States
  • 2011
    • MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
  • 1991-2010
    • National Institutes of Health
      • • Molecular Targets Laboratory
      • • Laboratory of Molecular Biology
      • • Branch of Outcomes Research
      베서스다, Maryland, United States
  • 2008
    • National Eye Institute
      Maryland, United States
  • 2005
    • Institute of Human Genetics
      Amadavad, Gujarāt, India
  • 1991-2005
    • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
      베서스다, Maryland, United States