To investigate the predictive role and association of nuclear survivin and the DNA double-strand breaks repair genes in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs), Ku heterodimeric regulatory complex 70-KD subunit (Ku70) and ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM).
The protein expression of nuclear survivin, DNA-PKcs, Ku70 and ATM were investigated using immunohistochemistry in tumors from 256 patients with surgically resected NSCLC. Furthermore, we analyzed the correlation between the expression of nuclear survivin, DNA-PKcs, Ku70 and ATM. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine the prognostic factors that inuenced the overall survival and disease-free survival of NSCLC.
The expression of nuclear survivin, DNA-PKcs, Ku70 and ATM was significantly higher in tumor tissues than in normal tissues. By dichotomizing the specimens as expressing low or high levels of nuclear survivin, nuclear survivin correlated significantly with the pathologic stage (P = 0.009) and lymph node status (P = 0.004). The nuclear survivin levels were an independent prognostic factor for both the overall survival and the disease-free survival in univariate and multivariate analyses. Patients with low Ku70 and DNA-PKcs expression had a greater benefit from radiotherapy than patients with high expression of Ku70 (P = 0.012) and DNA-PKcs (P = 0.02). Nuclear survivin expression positively correlated with DNA-PKcs (P<0.001) and Ku70 expression (P<0.001).
Nuclear survivin may be a prognostic factor for overall survival in patients with resected stage I-IIIA NSCLC. DNA-PKcs and Ku70 could predict the effect of radiotherapy in patients with NSCLC. Nuclear survivin may also stimulates DNA double-strand breaks repair by its interaction with DNA-PKcs and Ku70.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) contributes to tumor radioresistance, in part, through interactions with the catalytic subunit of DNA-dependent Protein Kinase (DNA-PKcs), a key enzyme in the non homologous end joining DNA repair pathway. We previously demonstrated that EGFR-DNA-PKcs interactions are significantly compromised in the context of activating mutations in EGFR in non small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) and human bronchial epithelial cells. Here, we investigate the reciprocal relationship between phosphorylation status of DNA-PKcs and EGFR-mediated radiation response. The data reveal that both the kinase activity of DNA-PKcs and radiation-induced phosphorylation of DNA-PKcs by the Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated (ATM) kinase are critical prerequisites for EGFR-mediated radioresponse. Alanine substitutions at 7 key serine/threonine residues in DNA-PKcs or inhibition of DNA-PKcs by NU7441 completely abrogated EGFR-mediated radioresponse and blocked EGFR binding. ATM-deficiency or ATM inhibition with KU55933 produced a similar effect. Importantly, alanine substitution at an ATM-dependent DNA-PKcs phosphorylation site, T2609, was sufficient to block binding or radioresponse of EGFR. However, mutation of a DNA-PKcs auto-phosphorylation site, S2056 had no such effect indicating that DNA-PKcs auto-phosphorylation is not necessary for EGFR-mediated radioresponse. Our data reveal that in both NSCLCs and HBECs, activating mutations in EGFR specifically abolished the DNA-PKcs phosphorylation at T2609, but not S2056. Our study underscores the critical importance of a reciprocal relationship between DNA-PKcs phosphorylation and EGFR mediated radiation response and elucidates mechanisms underlying mutant EGFR associated radiosensitivity in NSCLCs.
Members of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase related kinase (PIKK) family, in particular the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase and the catalytic subunit of the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PKcs), regulate cellular responses to DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). Increased sensitivity to ionizing radiation (IR) in DNA-PKcs or ATM deficient cells emphasizes their important roles in maintaining genome stability. Furthermore, combined knockout of both kinases is synthetically lethal, suggesting functional complementarity. In the current study, using human mammary epithelial cells with ATM levels stably knocked down by >90%, we observed an IR-induced G2 checkpoint that was only slightly attenuated. In marked contrast, this G2 checkpoint was significantly attenuated with either DNA-PK inhibitor treatment or RNAi knockdown of DNA-PKcs, the catalytic subunit of DNA-PK, indicating that DNA-PK contributes to the G2 checkpoint in these cells. Furthermore, in agreement with the checkpoint attenuation, DNA-PK inhibition in ATM-knockdown cells resulted in reduced signaling of the checkpoint kinase CHK1 as evidenced by reduced CHK1 phophorylation. Taken together these results demonstrate a DNA-PK-dependent component to the IR-induced G2 checkpoint in addition to the well-defined ATM-dependent component. This may have important implications for chemotherapeutic strategies for breast cancers.
Lymphocyte antigen receptor genes are assembled through the process of V(D)J recombination, during which pairwise DNA cleavage of gene segments results in the formation of four DNA ends that are resolved into a coding joint and a signal joint. The joining of these DNA ends occurs in G1-phase lymphocytes and is mediated by the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway of DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair. The ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs), two related kinases, both function in the repair of DNA breaks generated during antigen receptor gene assembly. Although these proteins have unique functions during coding joint formation, their activities in signal joint formation, if any, have been less clear. However, two recent studies demonstrated that ATM and DNA-PKcs have overlapping activities important for signal joint formation. Here, we discuss the unique and shared activities of the ATM and DNA-PKcs kinases during V(D)J recombination, a process that is essential for lymphocyte development and the diversification of antigen receptors.
ATM; V(D)J recombination; DNA-PKcs; Lymphocyte; DNA repair; RAG
Kinases in the phosphoinositide 3-kinase related kinase (PIKK) family include ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated), ATR (ATM and Rad3-related), DNA-PKcs (DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit, mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), and SMG1 (suppressor with morphological effect on genitalia family member). These atypical protein kinases regulate DNA damage responses, nutrient-dependent signaling, and nonsense-mediated mRNA decay. This review focuses on the mechanisms regulating the PIKK family with a strong emphasis on the DNA damage regulated kinases. We outline common regulatory themes and suggest how discoveries about the regulation of one PIKK can be informative for the other family members.
ATR; ATM; DNA-PK; mTOR; SMG1; PIKK
DNA damage encountered by DNA replication forks poses risks of genome destabilization, a
precursor to carcinogenesis. Damage checkpoint systems cause cell cycle arrest, promote
repair and induce programed cell death when damage is severe. Checkpoints are critical
parts of the DNA damage response network that act to suppress cancer. DNA damage and
perturbation of replication machinery causes replication stress, characterized by
accumulation of single-stranded DNA bound by replication protein A (RPA), which triggers
activation of ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3 related (ATR) and phosphorylation of the
RPA32, subunit of RPA, leading to Chk1 activation and arrest. DNA-dependent protein kinase
catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) [a kinase related to ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and
ATR] has well characterized roles in DNA double-strand break repair, but poorly understood
roles in replication stress-induced RPA phosphorylation. We show that DNA-PKcs mutant
cells fail to arrest replication following stress, and mutations in RPA32 phosphorylation
sites targeted by DNA-PKcs increase the proportion of cells in mitosis, impair ATR
signaling to Chk1 and confer a G2/M arrest defect. Inhibition of ATR and DNA-PK (but not
ATM), mimic the defects observed in cells expressing mutant RPA32. Cells expressing mutant
RPA32 or DNA-PKcs show sustained H2AX phosphorylation in response to replication stress
that persists in cells entering mitosis, indicating inappropriate mitotic entry with
The histone variant H2AX is rapidly phosphorylated at the sites of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). This phosphorylated H2AX (γ-H2AX) is involved in the retention of repair and signaling factor complexes at sites of DNA damage. The dependency of this phosphorylation on the various PI3K-related protein kinases (in mammals, ataxia telangiectasia mutated and Rad3-related [ATR], ataxia telangiectasia mutated [ATM], and DNA-PKCs) has been a subject of debate; it has been suggested that ATM is required for the induction of foci at DSBs, whereas ATR is involved in the recognition of stalled replication forks. In this study, using Arabidopsis as a model system, we investigated the ATR and ATM dependency of the formation of γ-H2AX foci in M-phase cells exposed to ionizing radiation (IR). We find that although the majority of these foci are ATM-dependent, ∼10% of IR-induced γ-H2AX foci require, instead, functional ATR. This indicates that even in the absence of DNA replication, a distinct subset of IR-induced damage is recognized by ATR. In addition, we find that in plants, γ-H2AX foci are induced at only one-third the rate observed in yeasts and mammals. This result may partly account for the relatively high radioresistance of plants versus yeast and mammals.
The DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) complex is a serine/threonine protein kinase comprised of a 469-kDa catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) and the DNA binding regulatory heterodimeric (Ku70/Ku86) complex Ku. DNA-PK functions in the nonhomologous end-joining pathway for the repair of DNA double-stranded breaks (DSBs) introduced by either exogenous DNA damage or endogenous processes, such as lymphoid V(D)J recombination. Not surprisingly, mutations in Ku70, Ku86, or DNA-PKcs result in animals that are sensitive to agents that cause DSBs and that are also immune deficient. While these phenotypes have been validated in several model systems, an extension of them to humans has been missing due to the lack of patients with mutations in any one of the three DNA-PK subunits. The worldwide lack of patients suggests that during mammalian evolution this complex has become uniquely essential in primates. This hypothesis was substantiated by the demonstration that functional inactivation of either Ku70 or Ku86 in human somatic cell lines is lethal. Here we report on the functional inactivation of DNA-PKcs in human somatic cells. Surprisingly, DNA-PKcs does not appear to be essential, although the cell line lacking this gene has profound proliferation and genomic stability deficits not observed for other mammalian systems.
Phosphorylation of the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) upon ionizing radiation (IR) is essential for cellular radioresistance and nonhomologous-end-joining-mediated DNA double-strand break repair. In addition to IR induction, we have previously shown that DNA-PKcs phosphorylation is increased upon camptothecin treatment, which induces replication stress and replication-associated double-strand breaks. To clarify the involvement of DNA-PKcs in this process, we analyzed DNA-PKcs phosphorylation in response to UV irradiation, which causes replication stress and activates ATR (ATM-Rad3-related)/ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) kinases in a replication-dependent manner. Upon UV irradiation, we observed a rapid DNA-PKcs phosphorylation at T2609 and T2647, but not at S2056, distinct from that induced by IR. UV-induced DNA-PKcs phosphorylation occurs specifically only in replicating cells and is dependent on ATR kinase. Inhibition of ATR activity via caffeine, a dominant-negative kinase-dead mutant, or RNA interference led to the attenuation of UV-induced DNA-PKcs phosphorylation. Furthermore, DNA-PKcs associates with ATR in vivo and is phosphorylated by ATR in vitro, suggesting that DNA-PKcs could be the direct downstream target of ATR. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that DNA-PKcs is required for the cellular response to replication stress and might play an important role in the repair of stalled replication forks.
Thymidylate synthase (TS) is important for maintenance of the intracellular thymidine pool, which is crucial for DNA synthesis and repair. TS messenger RNA and protein levels are predictive of response to 5-fluorouracil-containing therapy for patients with colorectal cancer and gastric cancer. High levels of expression of 2 other genes important in DNA synthesis and repair, RRM1 and ERCC1, are prognostic of survival in early stage nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. We hypothesized that intratumoral TS expression would be prognostic of outcome in stage I NSCLC.
Cytoplasmic tumoral TS was determined by automated in situ protein quantification (AQUA) in 160 patients with completely resected NSCLC that had not received chemotherapy or radiation. It was also determined by real-time quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in 85 similar patients. The 2 datasets were partially overlapping (N = 32). The optimal cut-point was determined by the maximal log-rank method with adjustment of the P-values for multiple looks.
TS protein expression was significantly associated with patient survival (P = .0013, adjusted P = .034). The optimal cutpoint was at the 25% percentile; the group with low expression (≤57.02) had a median overall survival (OS) of 51.7 months, and the high expression group (>57.02) had a median OS of 81.3 months. TS mRNA expression was not significantly associated with patient survival or TS protein expression. In a multivariate analysis adjusting for tumor stage, TS remained significantly prognostic of survival (P = .0013, adjusted P = .032).
In situ cytoplasmic TS protein expression in tumors of patients with resected stage I NSCLC is a clinically important determinant of survival.
thymidylate synthase; lung cancer; adenocarcinoma of the lung; squamous cell carcinoma of the lung; biomarkers; immunohistochemistry
DNA damage such as double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) has been reported to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis. However, the underlying mechanism is poorly understood. The major player in response to DSBs is ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated). Upon sensing DSBs, ATM is activated through autophosphorylation and phosphorylates a number of substrates for DNA repair, cell cycle regulation and apoptosis. ATM has been reported to phosphorylate the α subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which senses AMP/ATP ratio in cells, and can be activated by upstream kinases. Here we provide evidence for a novel role of ATM in mitochondrial biogenesis through AMPK activation in response to etoposide-induced DNA damage.
Three pairs of human ATM+ and ATM- cells were employed. Cells treated with etoposide exhibited an ATM-dependent increase in mitochondrial mass as measured by 10-N-Nonyl-Acridine Orange and MitoTracker Green FM staining, as well as an increase in mitochondrial DNA content. In addition, the expression of several known mitochondrial biogenesis regulators such as the major mitochondrial transcription factor NRF-1, PGC-1α and TFAM was also elevated in response to etoposide treatment as monitored by RT-PCR. Three pieces of evidence suggest that etoposide-induced mitochondrial biogenesis is due to ATM-dependent activation of AMPK. First, etoposide induced ATM-dependent phosphorylation of AMPK α subunit at Thr172, indicative of AMPK activation. Second, inhibition of AMPK blocked etoposide-induced mitochondrial biogenesis. Third, activation of AMPK by AICAR (an AMP analogue) stimulated mitochondrial biogenesis in an ATM-dependent manner, suggesting that ATM may be an upstream kinase of AMPK in the mitochondrial biogenesis pathway.
These results suggest that activation of ATM by etoposide can lead to mitochondrial biogenesis through AMPK activation. We propose that ATM-dependent mitochondrial biogenesis may play a role in DNA damage response and ROS regulation, and that defect in ATM-dependent mitochondrial biogenesis could contribute to the manifestations of A-T disease.
Postmitotic neurons must survive for the entire life of the organism and be able to respond adaptively to adverse conditions of oxidative and genotoxic stress. Unrepaired DNA damage can trigger apoptosis of neurons which is typically mediated by the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) - p53 pathway. As in all mammalian cells, telomeres in neurons consist of TTAGGG DNA repeats and several associated proteins that form a nucleoprotein complex that prevents chromosome ends from being recognized as double strand breaks. Proteins that stabilize telomeres include TRF1 and TRF2, and proteins known to play important roles in DNA damage responses and DNA repair including ATM, Werner and the catalytic subunit of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PKcs). We have been performing studies of developing and adult neurons aimed at understanding the effects of global and telomere-directed DNA damage responses in neuronal plasticity and survival in the contexts of aging and neurodegenerative disorders. Deficits in specific DNA repair proteins, including DNA-PKcs and uracil DNA glycosylase (UDG), render neurons vulnerable to adverse conditions of relevance to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. Similarly, early postmitotic neurons with reduced telomerase activity exhibit accentuated responses to DNA damage and are prone to apoptosis demonstrating a pivotal role for telomere maintenance in both mitotic cells and postmitotic neurons. Our recent findings suggest key roles for TRF2 in regulating the differentiation and survival of neurons. TRF2 promotes cell survival and differentiation by modulating DNA damage pathways, and gene expression. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which neurons respond to global and telomere-specific DNA damage may reveal novel strategies for prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. Indeed, work in this and other laboratories has shown that dietary folic acid can protect neurons against Alzheimer’s disease by keeping homocysteine levels low and thereby minimizing the misincorporation of uracil into DNA in neurons.
Homologous recombination (HR) and nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) are two distinct DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathways. Here we report that DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), the core component of NHEJ, partnering with DNA-damage checkpoint kinases ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and ATM- and Rad3-related (ATR), regulates HR repair of DSBs. The regulation was accomplished through modulation of the p53 and replication protein A (RPA) interaction. We show that upon DNA damage, p53 and RPA were freed from a p53-RPA complex by simultaneous phosphorylations of RPA at the N-terminus of RPA32 subunit by DNA-PK and of p53 at Ser37 and Ser46 in a Chk1/Chk2-independent manner by ATR and ATM, respectively. Neither the phosphorylation of RPA nor of p53 alone could dissociate p53 and RPA. Furthermore, disruption of the release significantly compromised HR repair of DSBs. Our results reveal a mechanism for the crosstalk between HR repair and NHEJ through the co-regulation of p53-RPA interaction by DNA-PK, ATM and ATR.
Lymphocytes traverse functionally discrete stages as they develop into mature B and T cells. This development is directed by cues from a variety of different cell surface receptors. To complete development, all lymphocytes must express a functional nonautoreactive heterodimeric antigen receptor. The genes that encode antigen receptor chains are assembled through the process of V(D)J recombination, a reaction that proceeds through DNA double-stranded break (DSB) intermediates. These DSBs are generated by the RAG endonuclease in G1-phase developing lymphocytes and activate ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM), the kinase that orchestrates cellular DSB responses. The canonical DNA damage response includes cell cycle arrest, DNA break repair, and apoptosis of cells when DSBs are not repaired. However, recent studies have demonstrated that ATM activation in response to RAG DSBs also regulates a transcriptional program including many genes with no known function in canonical DNA damage responses. Rather, these genes have activities that would be important for lymphocyte development. Here, these findings and the broader concept that signals initiated by physiologic DNA DSBs provide cues that regulate cell type-specific processes and functions are discussed.
The juxtaposition of a double-stranded DNA end and a short single-stranded DNA gap triggers robust activation of endogenous ATR and Chk1 mediated by DNA-PKcs.
Three phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase–related protein kinases implement cellular responses to DNA damage. DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) and ataxia-telangiectasia mutated respond primarily to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Ataxia-telangiectasia and RAD3-related (ATR) signals the accumulation of replication protein A (RPA)–covered single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), which is caused by replication obstacles. Stalled replication intermediates can further degenerate and yield replication-associated DSBs. In this paper, we show that the juxtaposition of a double-stranded DNA end and a short ssDNA gap triggered robust activation of endogenous ATR and Chk1 in human cell-free extracts. This DNA damage signal depended on DNA-PKcs and ATR, which congregated onto gapped linear duplex DNA. DNA-PKcs primed ATR/Chk1 activation through DNA structure-specific phosphorylation of RPA32 and TopBP1. The synergistic activation of DNA-PKcs and ATR suggests that the two kinases combine to mount a prompt and specific response to replication-born DSBs.
Ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) and DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) play a crucial role in the initial stages of cell response, when cells are exposed to DNA insult such as ionizing radiation (IR) and chemical agents. We previously demonstrated that ATM requires BAAT1 for its activation in response to IR. In the present study, BAAT1 was found to bind to the DNA-PK catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) and SMC1. Biochemical analysis indicated that several regions of BAAT1 were responsible for the interaction with these proteins, and their binding affinity was altered after treatment with the IR mimetic, neocarzinostatin (NCS). Phosphorylation of the DNA-PKcs at Ser2056 and SMC1 at Ser966 was induced by NCS, while phosphorylation was reduced when BAAT1 was depleted by siRNA. These results indicate that BAAT1 globally regulates DNA damage signaling during the early stages of apoptosis.
BAAT1; DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit; DNA damage
In contrast to ATM-null mice, mice expressing a kinase-dead ATM variant exhibit embryonic lethality, associated with greater deficiency in homologous recombination.
Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) mutated (ATM) is a key deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage signaling kinase that regulates DNA repair, cell cycle checkpoints, and apoptosis. The majority of patients with A-T, a cancer-prone neurodegenerative disease, present with null mutations in Atm. To determine whether the functions of ATM are mediated solely by its kinase activity, we generated two mouse models containing single, catalytically inactivating point mutations in Atm. In this paper, we show that, in contrast to Atm-null mice, both D2899A and Q2740P mutations cause early embryonic lethality in mice, without displaying dominant-negative interfering activity. Using conditional deletion, we find that the D2899A mutation in adult mice behaves largely similar to Atm-null cells but shows greater deficiency in homologous recombination (HR) as measured by hypersensitivity to poly (adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase inhibition and increased genomic instability. These results may explain why missense mutations with no detectable kinase activity are rarely found in patients with classical A-T. We propose that ATM kinase-inactive missense mutations, unless otherwise compensated for, interfere with HR during embryogenesis.
ATM and ATR display distinct activities in meiotic DSB repair, such that ATM functions in DNA damage repair and negative feedback control over programmed double strand breaks, whereas ATR is required for checkpoint activity.
Ataxia telangiectasia–mutated (ATM) and ataxia telangiectasia–related (ATR) kinases are conserved regulators of cellular responses to double strand breaks (DSBs). During meiosis, however, the functions of these kinases in DSB repair and the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage checkpoint are unclear. In this paper, we show that ATM and ATR have unique roles in the repair of meiotic DSBs in Drosophila melanogaster. ATR mutant analysis indicated that it is required for checkpoint activity, whereas ATM may not be. Both kinases phosphorylate H2AV (γ-H2AV), and, using this as a reporter for ATM/ATR activity, we found that the DSB repair response is surprisingly dynamic at the site of DNA damage. γ-H2AV is continuously exchanged, requiring new phosphorylation at the break site until repair is completed. However, most surprising is that the number of γ-H2AV foci is dramatically increased in the absence of ATM, but not ATR, suggesting that the number of DSBs is increased. Thus, we conclude that ATM is primarily required for the meiotic DSB repair response, which includes functions in DNA damage repair and negative feedback control over the level of programmed DSBs during meiosis.
Mutations in the ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) gene, which encodes a 370 kd protein with a kinase catalytic domain, predisposes people to cancers, and these mutations are also linked to ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T). The histone acetylaion/deacetylation- dependent chromatin remodeling can activate the ATM kinase-mediated DNA damage signal pathway (in an accompanying work, Lee, 2007). This has led us to study whether this modification can impinge on the ATM-mediated DNA damage response via transcriptional modulation in order to understand the function of ATM in the regulation of gene transcription.
Materials and Methods
To identify the genes whose expression is regulated by ATM in response to histone deaceylase (HDAC) inhibition, we performed an analysis of oligonucleotide microarrays with using the appropriate cell lines, isogenic A-T (ATM-) and control (ATM+) cells, following treatment with a HDAC inhibitor TSA.
Treatment with TSA reprograms the differential gene expression profile in response to HDAC inhibition in ATM- cells and ATM+ cells. We analyzed the genes that are regulated by TSA in the ATM-dependent manner, and we classified these genes into different functional categories, including those involved in cell cycle/DNA replication, DNA repair, apoptosis, growth/differentiation, cell- cell adhesion, signal transduction, metabolism and transcription.
We found that while some genes are regulated by TSA without regard to ATM, the patterns of gene regulation are differentially regulated in an ATM-dependent manner. Taken together, these finding indicate that ATM can regulate the transcription of genes that play critical roles in the molecular response to DNA damage, and this response is modulated through an altered HDAC inhibition-mediated gene expression.
ATM; HDAC inhibition; Transcriptional modulation
Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) mutated (ATM) kinase signals all three cell cycle checkpoints after DNA double-stranded break (DSB) damage. H2AX, NBS1, and p53 are substrates of ATM kinase and are involved in ATM-dependent DNA damage responses. We show here that H2AX is dispensable for the activation of ATM and p53 responses after DNA DSB damage. Therefore, H2AX functions primarily as a downstream mediator of ATM functions in the parallel pathway of p53. NBS1 appears to function both as an activator of ATM and as an adapter to mediate ATM activities after DNA DSB damage. Phosphorylation of ATM and H2AX induced by DNA DSB damage is normal in NBS1 mutant/mutant (NBS1m/m) mice that express an N-terminally truncated NBS1 at lower levels. Therefore, the pleiotropic A-T-related systemic and cellular defects observed in NBS1m/m mice are due to the disruption of the adapter function of NBS1 in mediating ATM activities. While H2AX is required for the irradiation-induced focus formation of NBS1, our findings indicate that NBS1 and H2AX have distinct roles in DNA damage responses. ATM-dependent phosphorylation of p53 and p53 responses are largely normal in NBS1m/m mice after DNA DSB damage, and p53 deficiency greatly facilitates tumorigenesis in NBS1m/m mice. Therefore, NBS1, H2AX, and p53 play synergistic roles in ATM-dependent DNA damage responses and tumor suppression.
We previously reported that the p53 tumor suppressor protein plays an essential role in the induction of tetraploid G1 arrest in response to perturbation of the actin cytoskeleton, termed actin damage. In this study, we investigated the role of p53, ataxia telangiectasia mutated protein (ATM), and catalytic subunit of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PKcs) in tetraploid G1 arrest induced by actin damage. Treatment with actin-damaging agents including pectenotoxin-2 (PTX-2) increases phosphorylation of Ser-15 and Ser-37 residues of p53, but not Ser-20 residue. Knockdown of ATM and DNA-PKcs do not affect p53 phosphorylation induced by actin damage. However, while ATM knockdown does not affect tetraploid G1 arrest, knockdown of DNA-PKcs not only perturbs tetraploid G1 arrest, but also results in formation of polyploidy and induction of apoptosis. These results indicate that DNA-PKcs is essential for the maintenance of actin damage induced-tetraploid G1 arrest in a p53-independent manner. Furthermore, actin damage-induced p53 expression is not observed in cells synchronized at G1/S of the cell cycle, implying that p53 induction is due to actin damage-induced tetraploidy rather than perturbation of actin cytoskeleton. Therefore, these results suggest that p53 and DNA-PKcs independently function for tetraploid G1 arrest and preventing polyploidy formation.
actin cytoskeleton; ataxia telangiectasia mutated protein; DNA-activated protein kinase; pectenotoxin 2; tumor suppressor protein p53
In the autoimmune syndrome rheumatoid arthritis (RA), T cells and T-cell precursors have age-inappropriate shortening of telomeres and accumulate deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) double strand breaks. Whether damaged DNA elicits DNA repair activity and how this affects T-cell function and survival is unknown. Here, we report that naïve and resting T cells from RA patients are susceptible to undergo apoptosis. In such T cells, unrepaired DNA stimulates a p53-ataxia telangiectasia mutated-independent pathway involving the non-homologous-end-joining protein DNA-protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs). Upregulation of DNA-PKcs transcription, protein expression and phosphorylation in RA T cells co-occurs with diminished expression of the Ku70/80 heterodimer, limiting DNA repair capacity. Inhibition of DNA-PKcs kinase activity or gene silencing of DNA-PKcs protects RA T cells from apoptosis. DNA-PKcs induces T-cell death by activating the JNK pathway and upregulating the apoptogenic BH3-only proteins Bim and Bmf. In essence, in RA, the DNA-PKcs-JNK-Bim/Bmf axis transmits genotoxic stress into shortened survival of naïve resting T cells, imposing chronic proliferative turnover of the immune system and premature immunosenescence. Therapeutic blockade of the DNA-PK-dependent cell-death machinery may rejuvenate the immune system in RA.
apoptosis; DNA damage; DNA-PKcs; rheumatoid arthritis; T-cell
ATM activates the pentose phosphate pathway promoting anti-oxidant defence and DNA repair
The DNA damage-induced ATM kinase is linked to the metabolic pentose phosphate pathway, thus boosting biosynthesis of nucleotide precursors required for DNA repair and stimulating generation of the anti-oxidant NADPH, which may explain neurological defects of ataxia telangiectasia patients lacking ATM function.
Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) is a human disease caused by ATM deficiency characterized among other symptoms by radiosensitivity, cancer, sterility, immunodeficiency and neurological defects. ATM controls several aspects of cell cycle and promotes repair of double strand breaks (DSBs). This probably accounts for most of A-T clinical manifestations. However, an impaired response to reactive oxygen species (ROS) might also contribute to A-T pathogenesis. Here, we show that ATM promotes an anti-oxidant response by regulating the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). ATM activation induces glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) activity, the limiting enzyme of the PPP responsible for the production of NADPH, an essential anti-oxidant cofactor. ATM promotes Hsp27 phosphorylation and binding to G6PD, stimulating its activity. We also show that ATM-dependent PPP stimulation increases nucleotide production and that G6PD-deficient cells are impaired for DSB repair. These data suggest that ATM protects cells from ROS accumulation by stimulating NADPH production and promoting the synthesis of nucleotides required for the repair of DSBs.
anti-oxidant; ATM; DNA damage
Exposure to DNA-damaging agents triggers signal transduction
pathways that are thought to play a role in maintenance of genomic
stability. A key protein in the cellular processes of nucleotide
excision repair, DNA recombination, and DNA double-strand break repair
is the single-stranded DNA binding protein, RPA. We showed previously
that the p34 subunit of RPA becomes hyperphosphorylated as a delayed
response (4–8 h) to UV radiation (10–30 J/m2). Here we
show that UV-induced RPA-p34 hyperphosphorylation depends on expression
of ATM, the product of the gene mutated in the human genetic disorder
ataxia telangiectasia (A-T). UV-induced RPA-p34 hyperphosphorylation
was not observed in A-T cells, but this response was restored by ATM
expression. Furthermore, purified ATM kinase phosphorylates the p34
subunit of RPA complex in vitro at many of the same sites that are
phosphorylated in vivo after UV radiation. Induction of this DNA damage
response was also dependent on DNA replication; inhibition of DNA
replication by aphidicolin prevented induction of RPA-p34
hyperphosphorylation by UV radiation. We postulate that this pathway is
triggered by the accumulation of aberrant DNA replication
intermediates, resulting from DNA replication fork blockage by UV
photoproducts. Further, we suggest that RPA-p34 is hyperphosphorylated
as a participant in the recombinational postreplication repair of these
replication products. Successful resolution of these replication
intermediates reduces the accumulation of chromosomal aberrations that
would otherwise occur as a consequence of UV radiation.
The human disorder ataxia telangiectasia (AT), which is characterized by genetic instability and neurodegeneration, results from mutation of the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase. The loss of ATM leads to cell cycle checkpoint deficiencies and other DNA damage signaling defects that do not fully explain all pathologies associated with A-T including neuronal loss. In addressing this enigma, we find here that ATM suppresses DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair by microhomology-mediated end joining (MMEJ). We show that ATM repression of DNA end-degradation is dependent on its kinase activities and that Mre11 is the major nuclease behind increased DNA end-degradation and MMEJ repair in A-T. Assessment of MMEJ by an in vivo reporter assay system reveals decreased levels of MMEJ repair in Mre11-knockdown cells and in cells treated with Mre11-nuclease inhibitor mirin. Structure-based modeling of Mre11 dimer engaging DNA ends suggests the 5′ ends of a bridged DSB are juxtaposed such that DNA unwinding and 3′–5′ exonuclease activities may collaborate to facilitate simultaneous pairing of extended 5′ termini and exonucleolytic degradation of the 3′ ends in MMEJ. Together our results provide an integrated understanding of ATM and Mre11 in MMEJ: ATM has a critical regulatory function in controlling DNA end-stability and error-prone DSB repair and Mre11 nuclease plays a major role in initiating MMEJ in mammalian cells. These functions of ATM and Mre11 could be particularly important in neuronal cells, which are post-mitotic and therefore depend on mechanisms other than homologous recombination between sister chromatids to repair DSBs.
ATM; Mre11; MRN complex; DNA degradation; double-strand break repair; microhomology-mediated end joining; PI-3-kinase-like kinases