[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Class switch recombination (CSR) diversifies antibodies for productive immune responses while maintaining stability of the B-cell genome. Transcription at the immunoglobulin heavy chain (Igh) locus targets CSR-associated DNA damage and is promoted by the BRCT domain-containing PTIP (Pax transactivation domain-interacting protein). Although PTIP is a unique component of the mixed-lineage leukemia 3 (MLL3)/MLL4 chromatin-modifying complex, the mechanisms for how PTIP promotes transcription remain unclear. Here we dissected the minimal structural requirements of PTIP and its different protein complexes using quantitative proteomics in primary lymphocytes. We found that PTIP functions in transcription and CSR separately from its association with the MLL3/MLL4 complex and from its localization to sites of DNA damage. We identified a tandem BRCT domain of PTIP that is sufficient for CSR and identified PA1 as its main functional protein partner. Collectively, we provide genetic and biochemical evidence that a PTIP-PA1 subcomplex functions independently from the MLL3/MLL4 complex to mediate transcription during CSR. These results further our understanding of how multifunctional chromatin-modifying complexes are organized by subcomplexes that harbor unique and distinct activities.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Genes & Development
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Author Summary
Chromosome abnormalities, such as aneuploidies and structural variants (i.e. translocations, inversions), are strikingly common in the human population, causing disorders such as Down syndrome and Turner syndrome. One important consequence of chromosome abnormalities in mammals is errors during meiosis, the specialized cell division that generates sperm and eggs for reproduction. As a result of these meiotic errors, patients with chromosome abnormalities oftentimes suffer from infertility due to loss of developing germ cells. The precise molecular mechanism for germ cell losses and infertility due to chromosome abnormalities is not well understood, but is hypothesized to result from a surveillance mechanism, which has evolved to prevent aneuploidies from developing from abnormal germ cells. In mammals, meiotic surveillance mechanisms have been hypothesized to monitor for unrepaired DNA double-strand breaks (DSB) and/or chromosome pairing/synapsis errors. Here we test these hypotheses using a variety of chromosomally variant mouse models. We find that germ cell loss in female mice with chromosome abnormalities is dependent on phosphorylation of the histone variant H2AFX, an epigenetic mark involved in the transcriptional silencing of asynapsed chromosomes during meiosis. These data inform a silencing-based mechanism of germ cell loss in patients with chromosome abnormalities and for the prophase I surveillance system which safeguards against aneuploidy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gene encoding the lysine-specific histone methyltransferase KMT2D has emerged as one of the most frequently mutated genes in follicular lymphoma and diffuse large B cell lymphoma; however, the biological consequences of KMT2D mutations on lymphoma development are not known. Here we show that KMT2D functions as a bona fide tumor suppressor and that its genetic ablation in B cells promotes lymphoma development in mice. KMT2D deficiency also delays germinal center involution and impedes B cell differentiation and class switch recombination. Integrative genomic analyses indicate that KMT2D affects methylation of lysine 4 on histone H3 (H3K4) and expression of a set of genes, including those in the CD40, JAK-STAT, Toll-like receptor and B cell receptor signaling pathways. Notably, other KMT2D target genes include frequently mutated tumor suppressor genes such as TNFAIP3, SOCS3 and TNFRSF14. Therefore, KMT2D mutations may promote malignant outgrowth by perturbing the expression of tumor suppressor genes that control B cell-activating pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over 90% of patients with Nijmegen Breakage Syndrome (NBS), a hereditary cancer disorder, are homoallelic for a 5bp deletion in the NBN gene involved in the cellular response to DNA damage. This hypomorphic mutation leads to a carboxy-terminal protein fragment, p70-nibrin, with some residual function. Average age at malignancy, typically lymphoma, is 9.7 years. NBS patients are hypersensitive to chemotherapeutic and radiotherapeutic treaments, thus prevention of cancer development is of particular importance. Expression of an internally deleted NBN protein, p80-nibrin, has been previously shown to be associated with a milder cellular phenotype and absence of cancer in a 60 year old NBS patient. Here we show that cells from this patient, unlike other NBS patients, have DNA replication and origin firing rates comparable to control cells. We used here antisense oligonucleotides to enforce alternative splicing in NBS patient cells and efficiently generate the same internally deleted p80-nibrin protein. Injecting the same antisense sequences as morpholino oligomers (VivoMorpholinos) into the tail vein of a humanized NBS murine mouse model also led to efficient alternative splicing in vivo. Thus, proof of principle for the use of antisense oligonucleotides as a potential cancer prophylaxis has been demonstrated.Molecular Therapy (2015); doi:10.1038/mt.2015.144.
No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Molecular Therapy
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) formed during S phase are preferentially repaired by homologous recombination (HR), whereas G1 DSBs, such as those occurring during immunoglobulin class switch recombination (CSR), are repaired by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). The DNA damage response proteins 53BP1 and BRCA1 regulate the balance between NHEJ and HR. 53BP1 promotes CSR in part by mediating synapsis of distal DNA ends, and in addition, inhibits 5' end resection. BRCA1 antagonizes 53BP1 dependent DNA end-blocking activity during S phase, which would otherwise promote mutagenic NHEJ and genome instability. Recently, it was shown that supra-physiological levels of the E3 ubiquitin ligase RNF168 results in the hyper-accumulation of 53BP1/BRCA1 which accelerates DSB repair. Here, we ask whether increased expression of RNF168 or 53BP1 impacts physiological versus mutagenic NHEJ. We find that the anti-resection activities of 53BP1 are rate-limiting for mutagenic NHEJ but not for physiological CSR. As heterogeneity in the expression of RNF168 and 53BP1 is found in human tumors, our results suggest that deregulation of the RNF168/53BP1 pathway could alter the chemosensitivity of BRCA1 deficient tumors.
Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.
Preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Nucleic Acids Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, absence of the checkpoint kinase Mec1 (ATR) is viable upon mutations that increase the activity of the ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) complex. Whether this pathway is conserved in mammals remains unknown. Here we show that cells from mice carrying extra alleles of the RNR regulatory subunit RRM2 (Rrm2TG) present supraphysiological RNR activity and reduced chromosomal breakage at fragile sites. Moreover, increased Rrm2 gene dosage significantly extends the life span of ATR mutant mice. Our study reveals the first genetic condition in mammals that reduces fragile site expression and alleviates the severity of a progeroid disease by increasing RNR activity.
No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Genes & Development
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nuclear DNA replication requires the concerted action of hundreds of proteins to efficiently unwind and duplicate the entire genome while also retaining epigenetic regulatory information. Initiation of DNA replication is tightly regulated, rapidly firing thousands of origins once the conditions to promote rapid and faithful replication are in place, and defects in replication initiation lead to proliferation defects, genome instability, and a range of developmental abnormalities. Interestingly, DNA replication in metazoans initiates in actively transcribed DNA, meaning that replication initiation occurs in DNA that is co-occupied with tens of thousands of poised and active RNA polymerase complexes. Active transcription can induce genome instability, particularly during DNA replication, as RNA polymerases can induce torsional stress, formation of secondary structures, and act as a physical barrier to other enzymes involved in DNA metabolism. Here we discuss the challenges facing mammalian DNA replication, their impact on genome instability, and the development of cancer.
No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Self-renewal is the hallmark feature both of normal stem cells and cancer stem cells. Since the regenerative capacity of normal haematopoietic stem cells is limited by the accumulation of reactive oxygen species and DNA double-strand breaks, we speculated that DNA damage might also constrain leukaemic self-renewal and malignant haematopoiesis. Here we show that the histone methyl-transferase MLL4, a suppressor of B-cell lymphoma, is required for stem-cell activity and an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukaemia harbouring the MLL-AF9 oncogene. Deletion of MLL4 enhances myelopoiesis and myeloid differentiation of leukaemic blasts, which protects mice from death related to acute myeloid leukaemia. MLL4 exerts its function by regulating transcriptional programs associated with the antioxidant response. Addition of reactive oxygen species scavengers or ectopic expression of FOXO3 protects MLL4(-/-) MLL-AF9 cells from DNA damage and inhibits myeloid maturation. Similar to MLL4 deficiency, loss of ATM or BRCA1 sensitizes transformed cells to differentiation, suggesting that myeloid differentiation is promoted by loss of genome integrity. Indeed, we show that restriction-enzyme-induced double-strand breaks are sufficient to induce differentiation of MLL-AF9 blasts, which requires cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21(Cip1) (Cdkn1a) activity. In summary, we have uncovered an unexpected tumour-promoting role of genome guardians in enforcing the oncogene-induced differentiation blockade in acute myeloid leukaemia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Homologous recombination (HR) is initiated by DNA end resection, a process in which stretches of single-strand DNA (ssDNA) are generated and used for homology search. Factors implicated in resection include nucleases MRE11, EXO1, and DNA2, which process DNA ends into 3' ssDNA overhangs; helicases such as BLM, which unwind DNA; and other proteins such as BRCA1 and CtIP whose functions remain unclear. CDK-mediated phosphorylation of CtIP on T847 is required to promote resection, whereas CDK-dependent phosphorylation of CtIP-S327 is required for interaction with BRCA1. Here, we provide evidence that CtIP functions independently of BRCA1 in promoting DSB end resection. First, using mouse models expressing S327A or T847A mutant CtIP as a sole species, and B cells deficient in CtIP, we show that loss of the CtIP-BRCA1 interaction does not detectably affect resection, maintenance of genomic stability or viability, whereas T847 is essential for these functions. Second, although loss of 53BP1 rescues the embryonic lethality and HR defects in BRCA1-deficient mice, it does not restore viability or genome integrity in CtIP(-/-) mice. Third, the increased resection afforded by loss of 53BP1 and the rescue of BRCA1-deficiency depend on CtIP but not EXO1. Finally, the sensitivity of BRCA1-deficient cells to poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibition is partially rescued by the phospho-mimicking mutant CtIP (CtIP-T847E). Thus, in contrast to BRCA1, CtIP has indispensable roles in promoting resection and embryonic development.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · The Journal of Cell Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Homologous recombination (HR) is initiated by DNA end resection, a process in which stretches of single-strand DNA (ssDNA) are generated and used for homology search. Factors implicated in resection include nucleases MRE11, EXO1, and DNA2, which process DNA ends into 3′ ssDNA overhangs; helicases such as BLM, which unwind DNA; and other proteins such as BRCA1 and CtIP whose functions remain unclear. CDK-mediated phosphorylation of CtIP on T847 is required to promote resection, whereas CDK-dependent phosphorylation of CtIP-S327 is required for interaction with BRCA1. Here, we provide evidence that CtIP functions independently of BRCA1 in promoting DSB end resection. First, using mouse models expressing S327A or T847A mutant CtIP as a sole species, and B cells deficient in CtIP, we show that loss of the CtIP-BRCA1 interaction does not detectably affect resection, maintenance of genomic stability or viability, whereas T847 is essential for these functions. Second, although loss of 53BP1 rescues the embryonic lethality and HR defects in BRCA1-deficient mice, it does not restore viability or genome integrity in CtIP−/− mice. Third, the increased resection afforded by loss of 53BP1 and the rescue of BRCA1-deficiency depend on CtIP but not EXO1. Finally, the sensitivity of BRCA1-deficient cells to poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibition is partially rescued by the phospho-mimicking mutant CtIP (CtIP-T847E). Thus, in contrast to BRCA1, CtIP has indispensable roles in promoting resection and embryonic development.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Experimental Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rif1 protein is present in eukaryotic cells from yeast to human. In yeast, Rif1 is important for telomere homeostasis. Despite conservation in its domain organization, human Rif1 is not part of the telomere complex but was recently reported to work at DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) with 53BP1 to inhibit 5' strand degradation (resection) and stimulate a subset of nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) reactions. Martina et al  report in this issue of EMBO reports that yeast Rif1 is also recruited to DSBs, but in contrast to its human counterpart, it promotes resection. The authors propose that Rif1 stimulates resection by limiting the access of Rad9, an ortholog of 53BP1, to DSBs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stalled replication forks occasionally collapse, leading to potentially catastrophic DNA double-strand breaks. Now, Toledo et al. (2013) reveal that fork breakage occurs when the pool of the single-strand DNA-binding protein RPA becomes exhausted. This study has important implications for the origin and treatment of cancers with high levels of replicative stress.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: V(D)J recombination is initiated by the RAG endonuclease, which introduces DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) at the border between two recombining gene segments, generating two hairpin-sealed coding ends and two blunt signal ends. ATM and DNA-PKcs are serine-threonine kinases that orchestrate the cellular responses to DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). During V(D)J recombination, ATM and DNA-PKcs have unique functions in the repair of coding DNA ends. ATM deficiency leads to instability of post-cleavage complexes and the loss of coding ends from these complexes. DNA-PKcs deficiency leads to a nearly complete block in coding join formation, as DNA-PKcs is required to activate Artemis, the endonuclease that opens hairpin-sealed coding ends. In contrast to loss of DNA-PKcs protein, here we show that inhibition of DNA-PKcs kinase activity has no effect on coding join formation when ATM is present and its kinase activity is intact. The ability of ATM to compensate for DNA-PKcs kinase activity depends on the integrity of three threonines in DNA-PKcs that are phosphorylation targets of ATM, suggesting that ATM can modulate DNA-PKcs activity through direct phosphorylation of DNA-PKcs. Mutation of these threonine residues to alanine (DNA-PKcs(3A)) renders DNA-PKcs dependent on its intrinsic kinase activity during coding end joining at a step downstream of opening hairpin-sealed coding ends. Thus, DNA-PKcs has critical functions in coding end joining beyond promoting Artemis endonuclease activity, and these functions can be redundantly regulated by the kinase activities of either ATM or DNA-PKcs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fusion genes that are caused by chromosome translocations have been recognized for several decades as drivers of deregulated cell growth in certain types of cancer. In recent years, oncogenic fusion genes have been found in many haematological and solid tumours, demonstrating that translocations are a common cause of malignancy. Sequencing approaches have now confirmed that numerous, non-clonal translocations are a typical feature of cancer cells. These chromosome rearrangements are often highly complex and contain DNA sequence from multiple genomic sites. The factors and pathways that promote translocations are becoming clearer, with non-homologous end-joining implicated as a key source of genomic rearrangements.
No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Nature Reviews Cancer