Resection of DNA double-strand break (DSB) ends is generally considered a critical determinant in pathways of DSB repair and genome stability. Unlike for enzymatically induced site-specific DSBs, little is known about processing of random “dirty-ended” DSBs created by DNA damaging agents such as ionizing radiation. Here we present a novel system for monitoring early events in the repair of random DSBs, based on our finding that single-strand tails generated by resection at the ends of large molecules in budding yeast decreases mobility during pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). We utilized this “PFGE-shift” to follow the fate of both ends of linear molecules generated by a single random DSB in circular chromosomes. Within 10 min after γ-irradiation of G2/M arrested WT cells, there is a near-synchronous PFGE-shift of the linearized circular molecules, corresponding to resection of a few hundred bases. Resection at the radiation-induced DSBs continues so that by the time of significant repair of DSBs at 1 hr there is about 1–2 kb resection per DSB end. The PFGE-shift is comparable in WT and recombination-defective rad52 and rad51 strains but somewhat delayed in exo1 mutants. However, in rad50 and mre11 null mutants the initiation and generation of resected ends at radiation-induced DSB ends is greatly reduced in G2/M. Thus, the Rad50/Mre11/Xrs2 complex is responsible for rapid processing of most damaged ends into substrates that subsequently undergo recombinational repair. A similar requirement was found for RAD50 in asynchronously growing cells. Among the few molecules exhibiting shift in the rad50 mutant, the residual resection is consistent with resection at only one of the DSB ends. Surprisingly, within 1 hr after irradiation, double-length linear molecules are detected in the WT and rad50, but not in rad52, strains that are likely due to crossovers that are largely resection- and RAD50-independent.
Double-strand breaks (DSBs) in chromosomal DNA are common sources of genomic change that may be beneficial or deleterious to an organism, from yeast to humans. While they can arise through programmed cellular events, DSBs are frequently associated with defective chromosomal replication, and they are induced by various types of DNA damaging agents such as those employed in cancer therapy, especially ionizing radiation. Elaborate systems have evolved for DSB recognition and subsequent repair, either by homologous recombination or by direct joining of ends. Although much is known about repair mechanisms associated with defined, artificially produced DSBs, there is a relative dearth of information about events surrounding random DSBs. Using a novel, yeast-based system that is applicable to other organisms, we have addressed resection at DSBs, considered a first step in repair. We provide the first direct evidence that cells possess a highly efficient system for recognition and initiation of resection at γ-radiation–induced dirty ends and that the resection is largely dependent on the Rad50/Mre11/Xrs2 complex, identified by the RAD50 gene. The system provides unique opportunities to address other components in resection and repair as well as to identify the contribution of random DSBs and resection to genome instability resulting from other DNA damaging agents.
DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) can be repaired by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or homology-directed repair (HR). HR requires nucleolytic degradation of 5′ DNA ends to generate tracts of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), which are also important for the activation of DNA damage checkpoints. Here we describe a quantitative analysis of DSB processing in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We show that resection of an HO endonuclease-induced DSB is less extensive than previously estimated and provide evidence for significant instability of the 3′ ssDNA tails. We show that both DSB resection and checkpoint activation are dose-dependent, especially during the G1 phase of the cell cycle. During G1, processing near the break is inhibited by competition with NHEJ, but extensive resection is regulated by an NHEJ-independent mechanism. DSB processing and checkpoint activation are more efficient in G2/M than in G1 phase, but are most efficient at breaks encountered by DNA replication forks during S phase. Our findings identify unexpected complexity of DSB processing and its regulation, and provide a framework for further mechanistic insights.
cell cycle; checkpoints; DNA damage; DNA replication
Repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) protects cells and organisms, as well as their genome integrity. Since DSB repair occurs in the context of chromatin, chromatin must be modified to prevent it from inhibiting DSB repair. Evidence supports the role of histone modifications and ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling in repair and signaling of chromosome DSBs. The key questions are, then, what the nature of chromatin altered by DSBs is and how remodeling of chromatin facilitates DSB repair. Here we report a chromatin alteration caused by a single HO endonuclease-generated DSB at the Saccharomyces cerevisiae MAT locus. The break induces rapid nucleosome migration to form histone-free DNA of a few hundred base pairs immediately adjacent to the break. The DSB-induced nucleosome repositioning appears independent of end processing, since it still occurs when the 5′-to-3′ degradation of the DNA end is markedly reduced. The tetracycline-controlled depletion of Sth1, the ATPase of RSC, or deletion of RSC2 severely reduces chromatin remodeling and loading of Mre11 and Yku proteins at the DSB. Depletion of Sth1 also reduces phosphorylation of H2A, processing, and joining of DSBs. We propose that RSC-mediated chromatin remodeling at the DSB prepares chromatin to allow repair machinery to access the break and is vital for efficient DSB repair.
Immunoglobulin class switch recombination (CSR) occurs by an intrachromosomal deletion requiring generation of double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs) in immunoglobulin switch region DNA. The initial steps of DSB formation have been elucidated: cytosine deamination by activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) and the generation of abasic sites by uracil-DNA glycosylase (UNG). We show that abasic sites are converted into single-strand breaks (SSBs) by apurinic/apyrimidinic endonucleases (APE1 and APE2). If SSBs are near to each other on opposite strands, they will generate DSBs; but if distal from each other, mismatch repair appears to be required to generate DSBs. The resulting S region DSBs occur at dC residues that are preferentially targeted by AID. We also investigate whether DNA polymerase β, which correctly repairs SSBs resulting from APE activity, attempts to repair the breaks during CSR. We find that although polymerase β does attempt to repair S region DNA breaks in switching B cells, the frequency of AID-instigated breaks appears to outnumber the SSBs repaired correctly by polymerase β, and thus some DSBs and mutations are generated. We also show that the S region DSBs are introduced and resolved during the G1 phase of the cell cycle.
antibody class switch; DNA recombination; activation induced cytidine deaminase
In this study, the effect of DNA single strand breaks (ssb) on the neutral (pH 9.6) filter elution of DNA from Chinese hamster ovary (CHO K1) cells containing DNA double strand breaks (dsb) was investigated. Protein associated ssb were induced by the inhibition of DNA topoisomerase I with camptothecin (cpt). Protein associated dsb were introduced by treating cells with the DNA topoisomerase II poison; etoposide (VP-16). Protein associated ssb and dsb were converted to ssb and dsb by proteinase K present in the lysis solution. In some experiments dsb were generated by the restriction endonuclease Pvu II. It was found that elution of DNA in the presence and absence of ssb was similar under neutral conditions. This finding is consistent with the view that the fast component of the bi-phasic repair kinetics observed in irradiated mammalian cells with the neutral filter elution technique is not attributable to the interference of ssb with the measurement of dsb, and thus suggests that the two components of repair observed with the neutral filter elution elution technique may represent two different types of dsb or modes of repair of dsb.
DNA double-strand breaks can result from closely opposed breaks induced directly in complementary strands. Alternatively, double-strand breaks could be generated during repair of clustered damage, where the repair of closely opposed lesions has to be well coordinated. Using single and multiple mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (budding yeast) that impede the interaction of DNA polymerase δ and the 5′-flap endonuclease Rad27/Fen1 with the PCNA sliding clamp, we show that the lack of coordination between these components during long-patch base excision repair of alkylation damage can result in many double-strand breaks within the chromosomes of nondividing haploid cells. This contrasts with the efficient repair of nonclustered methyl methanesulfonate-induced lesions, as measured by quantitative PCR and S1 nuclease cleavage of single-strand break sites. We conclude that closely opposed single-strand lesions are a unique threat to the genome and that repair of closely opposed strand damage requires greater spatial and temporal coordination between the participating proteins than does widely spaced damage in order to prevent the development of double-strand breaks.
A DNA double strand break (DSB) is a highly toxic lesion, which can generate genetic instability and profound genome rearrangements. However, DSBs are required to generate diversity during physiological processes such as meiosis or the establishment of the immune repertoire. Thus, the precise regulation of a complex network of processes is necessary for the maintenance of genomic stability, allowing genetic diversity but protecting against genetic instability and its consequences on oncogenesis. Two main strategies are employed for DSB repair: homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). HR is initiated by single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) resection and requires sequence homology with an intact partner, while NHEJ requires neither resection at initiation nor a homologous partner. Thus, resection is an pivotal step at DSB repair initiation, driving the choice of the DSB repair pathway employed. However, an alternative end-joining (A-EJ) pathway, which is highly mutagenic, has recently been described; A-EJ is initiated by ssDNA resection but does not require a homologous partner. The choice of the appropriate DSB repair system, for instance according the cell cycle stage, is essential for genome stability maintenance. In this context, controlling the initial events of DSB repair is thus an essential step that may be irreversible, and the wrong decision should lead to dramatic consequences. Here, we first present the main DSB repair mechanisms and then discuss the importance of the choice of the appropriate DSB repair pathway according to the cell cycle phase. In a third section, we present the early steps of DSB repair i.e., DSB signaling, chromatin remodeling, and the regulation of ssDNA resection. In the last part, we discuss the competition between the different DSB repair mechanisms. Finally, we conclude with the importance of the fine tuning of this network for genome stability maintenance and for tumor protection in fine.
DNA double strand break; Homologous recombination; Non homologous end joining; alternative end-joining; Resection; chromatin remodeling; genetic instability; genome rearrangements
Double strand breaks (DSB) are severe DNA lesions, and if not properly repaired, may lead to cell death or cancer. While there is considerable data on the repair of simple DSB (sDSB) by non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), little is known about the repair of complex DSBs (cDSB), namely breaks with a nearby modification, which precludes ligation without prior processing. To study the mechanism of cDSB repair we developed a plasmid-based shuttle assay for the repair of a defined site-specific cDSB in cultured mammalian cells. Using this assay we found that repair efficiency and accuracy of a cDSB with an abasic site in a 5′ overhang was reduced compared with a sDSB. Translesion DNA synthesis (TLS) across the abasic site located at the break prevented loss of DNA sequences, but was highly mutagenic also at the template base next to the abasic site. Similar to sDSB repair, cDSB repair was totally dependent on XrccIV, and altered in the absence of Ku80. In contrast, Artemis appears to be specifically involved in cDSB repair. These results may indicate that mammalian cells have a damage control strategy, whereby severe deletions are prevented at the expense of the less deleterious point mutations during NHEJ.
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) with protein covalently attached to 5′ strand termini are formed by Spo11 to initiate meiotic recombination1,2. The Spo11 protein must be removed for the DSB to be repaired, but the mechanism for removal has been unclear3. We show here that meiotic DSBs in budding yeast are processed by endonucleolytic cleavage that releases Spo11 attached to an oligonucleotide with a free 3′-OH. Surprisingly, two discrete Spo11-oligonucleotide complexes were found in equal amounts, differing with respect to the length of the bound DNA. We propose that these forms arise from different spacings of strand cleavages flanking the DSB, with every DSB processed asymmetrically. Thus, the ends of a single DSB may be biochemically distinct at or before the initial processing step—significantly earlier than previously thought. SPO11-oligonucleotide complexes were identified in extracts of mouse testis, indicating that this mechanism is evolutionarily conserved. Oligonucleotide-topoisomerase II complexes were also present in extracts of vegetative yeast, although not subject to the same genetic control as for generating Spo11-oligonucleotide complexes. Our findings suggest a general mechanism for repair of protein-linked DSBs.
Although the DNA double-strand break (DSB) is defined as a rupture in the double-stranded DNA molecule that can occur without chemical modification in any of the constituent building blocks, it is recognized that this form is restricted to enzyme-induced DSBs. DSBs generated by physical or chemical agents can include at the break site a spectrum of base alterations (lesions). The nature and number of such chemical alterations define the complexity of the DSB and are considered putative determinants for repair pathway choice and the probability that errors will occur during this processing. As the pathways engaged in DSB processing show distinct and frequently inherent propensities for errors, pathway choice also defines the error-levels cells opt to accept. Here, we present a classification of DSBs on the basis of increasing complexity and discuss how complexity may affect processing, as well as how it may cause lethal or carcinogenic processing errors. By critically analyzing the characteristics of DSB repair pathways, we suggest that all repair pathways can in principle remove lesions clustering at the DSB but are likely to fail when they encounter clusters of DSBs that cause a local form of chromothripsis. In the same framework, we also analyze the rational of DSB repair pathway choice.
DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair via the homologous recombination pathway is a multi-stage process, which results in repair of the DSB without loss of genetic information or fidelity. One essential step in this process is the generation of extended single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) regions at the break site. This ssDNA serves to induce cell cycle checkpoints and is required for Rad51 mediated strand invasion of the sister chromatid. Here, we show that human Exonuclease 1 (Exo1) is required for the normal repair of DSBs by HR. Cells depleted of Exo1 show chromosomal instability and hypersensitivity to ionising radiation (IR) exposure. We find that Exo1 accumulates rapidly at DSBs and is required for the recruitment of RPA and Rad51 to sites of DSBs, suggesting a role for Exo1 in ssDNA generation. Interestingly, the phosphorylation of Exo1 by ATM appears to regulate the activity of Exo1 following resection, allowing optimal Rad51 loading and the completion of HR repair. These data establish a role for Exo1 in resection of DSBs in human cells, highlighting the critical requirement of Exo1 for DSB repair via HR and thus the maintenance of genomic stability.
A signature of ionizing radiation exposure is the induction of DNA clustered damaged sites, defined as two or more lesions within one to two helical turns of DNA by passage of a single radiation track. Clustered damage is made up of double strand breaks (DSB) with associated base lesions or abasic (AP) sites, and non-DSB clusters comprised of base lesions, AP sites and single strand breaks. This review will concentrate on the experimental findings of the processing of non-DSB clustered damaged sites. It has been shown that non-DSB clustered damaged sites compromise the base excision repair pathway leading to the lifetime extension of the lesions within the cluster, compared to isolated lesions, thus the likelihood that the lesions persist to replication and induce mutation is increased. In addition certain non-DSB clustered damaged sites are processed within the cell to form additional DSB. The use of E. coli to demonstrate that clustering of DNA lesions is the major cause of the detrimental consequences of ionizing radiation is also discussed. The delayed repair of non-DSB clustered damaged sites in humans can be seen as a “friend”, leading to cell killing in tumour cells or as a “foe”, resulting in the formation of mutations and genetic instability in normal tissue.
AP, abasic; DSB, double strand breaks; SSB, single strand breaks; LET, linear energy transfer; BER, base excision repair; 8-oxoG, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine; Tg, thymine glycol; DHT, 5,6-dihydrothymine; hU, 5-hydroxyuracil; 8-oxoA, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroadenine; DHU, dihydrouracil; Non-DSB clusters; Ionizing radiation; Base excision repair; Mutation induction
The ends of spontaneously occurring double-strand breaks (DSBs) may contain various lengths of single-stranded DNA, blocking lesions, and gaps and flaps generated by end annealing. To investigate the processing of such structures, we developed an assay in which annealed oligonucleotides are ligated onto the ends of a linearized plasmid which is then transformed into Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Reconstitution of a marker occurs only when the oligonucleotides are incorporated and repair is in frame, permitting rapid analysis of complex DSB ends. Here, we created DSBs with compatible overhangs of various lengths and asked which pathways are required for their precise repair. Three mechanisms of rejoining were observed, regardless of overhang polarity: nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ), a Rad52-dependent single-strand annealing-like pathway, and a third mechanism independent of the first two mechanisms. DSBs with overhangs of less than 4 bases were mainly repaired by NHEJ. Repair became less dependent on NHEJ when the overhangs were longer or had a higher GC content. Repair of overhangs greater than 8 nucleotides was as much as 150-fold more efficient, impaired 10-fold by rad52 mutation, and highly accurate. Reducing the microhomology extent between long overhangs reduced their repair dramatically, to less than NHEJ of comparable short overhangs. These data support a model in which annealing energy is a primary determinant of the rejoining efficiency and mechanism.
The purpose of this study was to determine the yield of DNA base damages, deoxyribose damage, and clustered lesions due to the direct effects of ionizing radiation and to compare these with the yield of DNA trapped radicals measured previously in the same pUC18 plasmid. The plasmids were prepared as films hydrated in the range 2.5 < Γ < 22.5 mol water/mol nucleotide. Single-strand breaks (SSBs) and double-strand breaks (DSBs) were detected by agarose gel electrophoresis. Specific types of base lesions were converted into SSBs and DSBs using the base-excision repair enzymes endonuclease III (Nth) and formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase (Fpg). The yield of base damage detected by this method displayed a strikingly different dependence on the level of hydration (Γ) compared with that for the yield of DNA trapped radicals; the former decreased by 3.2 times as Γ was varied from 2.5 to 22.5 and the later increased by 2.4 times over the same range. To explain this divergence, we propose that SSB yields produced in plasmid DNA by the direct effect cannot be analyzed properly with a Poisson process that assumes an average of one strand break per plasmid and neglects the possibility of a single track producing multiple SSBs within a plasmid. The yields of DSBs, on the other hand, are consistent with changes in free radical trapping as a function of hydration. Consequently, the composition of these clusters could be quantified. Deoxyribose damage on each of the two opposing strands occurs with a yield of 3.5 ± 0.5 nmol/J for fully hydrated pUC18, comparable to the yield of 4.1 ± 0.9 nmol/J for DSBs derived from opposed damages in which at least one of the sites is a damaged base.
Repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by homologous recombination (HR) requires resection of 5′-termini to generate 3′-single-strand DNA tails1. Key components of this reaction are Exonuclease 1 and the bifunctional endo/exonuclease, Mre112-4. Mre11 endonuclease activity is critical when DSB termini are blocked by bound protein—such as by the DNA end-joining complex5, topoisomerases6, or the meiotic nuclease, Spo117-13—but a specific function for the Mre11 3′-5′ exonuclease activity has remained elusive. Here, we reveal a role for the Mre11 exonuclease during the resection of Spo11-linked 5′-DNA termini in vivo. We show that the residual resection observed in Exo1-mutant cells is dependent on Mre11, and that both exonuclease activities are required for efficient DSB repair. Previous work has indicated resection to traverse unidirectionally1. Using a combination of physical assays for 5′-end-processing, our results suggest an alternative mechanism involving bidirectional resection. First, Mre11 nicks the strand to be resected up to 300 nucleotides from the 5′-terminus of the DSB—much further away than previously assumed. Second, this nick enables resection in a bidirectional manner, using Exo1 in the 5′-3′ direction away from the DSB, and Mre11 in the 3′-5′ direction towards the DSB end. Finally, Mre11 exonuclease activity confers resistance to DNA damage in cycling cells, suggesting that Mre11-catalysed resection may be a general feature of various DNA repair pathways.
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.
Double strand breaks (DSBs) are deleterious DNA lesions and if left unrepaired result in severe genomic instability. Cells use two main pathways to repair DSBs: homologous recombination (HR) or non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) depending on the phase of the cell cycle and the nature of the DSB ends. A key step where pathway choice is exerted is in the ‘licensing’ of 5′-3′ resection of the ends to produce recombinogenic 3′ single-stranded tails. These tails are substrate for binding by Rad51 to initiate pairing and strand invasion with homologous duplex DNA. Moreover, the single-stranded DNA generated after end processing is important to activate the DNA damage response. The mechanism of end processing is the focus of this review and we will describe recent findings that shed light on this important initiating step for HR. The conserved MRX/MRN complex appears to be a major regulator of DNA end processing. Sae2/CtIP functions with the MRX complex, either to activate the Mre11 nuclease or via the intrinsic endonuclease, in an initial step to trim the DSB ends. In a second step, redundant systems remove long tracts of DNA to reveal extensive 3′ single-stranded tails. One system is dependent on the helicase Sgs1 and the nuclease Dna2, and the other on the 5′-3′ exonuclease Exo1.
Double-strand break; Repair; Recombination; Mre11; Sae2/CtIP; Exo1; Sgs1/BLM
In budding yeast, an HO endonuclease-inducible double-strand break (DSB) is efficiently repaired by several homologous recombination (HR) pathways. In contrast to gene conversion (GC), where both ends of the DSB can recombine with the same template, break-induced replication (BIR) occurs when only the centromere-proximal end of the DSB can locate homologous sequences. Whereas GC results in a small patch of new DNA synthesis, BIR leads to a nonreciprocal translocation. The requirements for completing BIR are significantly different from those of GC, but both processes require 5′ to 3′ resection of DSB ends to create single-stranded DNA that leads to formation of a Rad51 filament required to initiate HR. Resection proceeds by two pathways dependent on Exo1 or the BLM homolog, Sgs1. We report that Exo1 and Sgs1 each inhibit BIR but have little effect on GC, while overexpression of either protein severely inhibits BIR. In contrast, overexpression of Rad51 markedly increases the efficiency of BIR, again with little effect on GC. In sgs1Δ exo1Δ strains, where there is little 5′ to 3′ resection, the level of BIR is not different from either single mutant; surprisingly, there is a two-fold increase in cell viability after HO induction whereby 40% of all cells survive by formation of a new telomere within a few kb of the site of DNA cleavage. De novo telomere addition is rare in wild-type, sgs1Δ, or exo1Δ cells. In sgs1Δ exo1Δ, repair by GC is severely inhibited, but cell viaiblity remains high because of new telomere formation. These data suggest that the extensive 5′ to 3′ resection that occurs before the initiation of new DNA synthesis in BIR may prevent efficient maintenance of a Rad51 filament near the DSB end. The severe constraint on 5′ to 3′ resection, which also abrogates activation of the Mec1-dependent DNA damage checkpoint, permits an unprecedented level of new telomere addition.
A chromosomal double-strand break (DSB) poses a severe threat to genome integrity, and budding yeast cells use several homologous recombination mechanisms to repair the break. In gene conversion (GC), both ends of the DSB share homology to an intact donor locus, and the break is repaired by copying the donor to create a small patch of new DNA synthesis. In break-induced replication (BIR), only one side of the DSB shares homology to a donor, and repair involves assembly of a recombination-dependent replication fork that copies sequences to the end of the template chromosome, yielding a nonreciprocal translocation. Both processes require that the DSB ends be resected by 5′ to 3′ exonucleases, involving several proteins or protein complexes, including Exo1 and Sgs1-Rmi1-Top3-Dna2. We report that ectopic BIR is inhibited independently by Sgs1 and Exo1 and that overexpression of Rad51 recombinase further improves BIR, while GC is largely unaffected. Surprisingly, when both Sgs1 and Exo1 are deleted, and resection is severely impaired, half of the cells acquire new telomeres rather than completing BIR or GC. New telomere addition appears to result from the lack of resection itself and from the fact that, without resection, the Mec1 (ATR) DNA damage checkpoint fails to inactivate the Pif1 helicase that discourages new telomere formation.
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are the most hazardous lesions arising in the genome of eukaryotic organisms, and yet occur normally during DNA replication, meiosis, and immune system development. The efficient repair of DSBs is crucial in maintaining genomic integrity, cellular viability, and the prevention of tumorigenesis. As a consequence, eukaryotic cells have evolved efficient mechanisms that sense and respond to DSBs and ultimately repair the break. The swiftness of the DNA DSB response has paved to the identification of sensors and transducers which allowed to generate a hierarchical signaling paradigm depicting the transduction of the damage signal to numerous downstream effectors (Fig. 1). The function of such effectors involve posttranslational modifications through phosphorylation, acetylation, and methylation of the substrates. This review will address the control of DSBs in damaged eukaryotic cells, the physiological processes that require the introduction of a DSB into the genome, and the maintenance of DSBs in non-damaged cells.
DNA; DSB; signaling; recombination
HO endonuclease-induced double-strand breaks (DSBs) in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be repaired by the process of gap repair or, alternatively, by single-strand annealing if the site of the break is flanked by directly repeated homologous sequences. We have shown previously (J. Fishman-Lobell and J. E. Haber, Science 258:480-484, 1992) that during the repair of an HO-induced DSB, the excision repair gene RAD1 is needed to remove regions of nonhomology from the DSB ends. In this report, we present evidence that among nine genes involved in nucleotide excision repair, only RAD1 and RAD10 are required for removal of nonhomologous sequences from the DSB ends. rad1 delta and rad10 delta mutants displayed a 20-fold reduction in the ability to execute both gap repair and single-strand annealing pathways of HO-induced recombination. Mutations in RAD2, RAD3, and RAD14 reduced HO-induced recombination by about twofold. We also show that RAD7 and RAD16, which are required to remove UV photodamage from the silent HML, locus, are not required for MAT switching with HML or HMR as a donor. Our results provide a molecular basis for understanding the role of yeast nucleotide excision repair gene and their human homologs in DSB-induced recombination and repair.
The efficient repair of double-strand breaks (DSBs) is crucial in maintaining genomic integrity. Sister chromatid cohesion is important for not only faithful chromosome segregation but also for proper DSB repair. During DSB repair, the Smc1–Smc3 cohesin complex is loaded onto chromatin around the DSB to support recombination-mediated DSB repair. In this study, we investigated whether Ctf18, a factor implicated in the establishment of sister chromatid cohesion, is involved in DSB repair in budding yeast. Ctf18 was recruited to HO-endonuclease induced DSB sites in an Mre11-dependent manner and to damaged chromatin in G2/M phase-arrested cells. The ctf18 mutant cells showed high sensitivity to DSB-inducible genotoxic agents and defects in DSB repair, as well as defects in damage-induced recombination between sister chromatids and between homologous chromosomes. These results suggest that Ctf18 is involved in damage-induced homologous recombination.
Clustered DNA lesions, possibly induced by ionizing radiation, constitute a trial for repair processes. Indeed, recent studies suggest that repair of such lesions may be compromised, potentially leading to the formation of lethal double-strand breaks (DSBs). A complex multiply damaged site (MDS) composed of 8-oxoguanine and 8-oxoadenine on one strand, 5-hydroxyuracil, 5-formyluracil and a 1 nt gap on the other strand, within 17 bp was built and used to challenge several steps of base excision repair (BER) pathway with human whole-cell extracts and purified repair enzymes as well. We show a hierarchy in the processing of lesions within the MDS, in particular at the base excision step. In the present configuration, efficient excision of 5-hydroxyuracil and low cleavage at 8-oxoguanine prevent DSB formation and generate a short single-stranded region carrying the 8-oxoguanine. On the other hand, rejoining of the 1 nt gap occurs by the short-patch BER pathway, but is slightly retarded by the presence of the oxidized bases. Taken together, our results suggest a hierarchy in the processing of the lesions within the MDS, which prevents the formation of DSB, but would dramatically enhance mutagenesis. They also indicate that the mutagenic (or lethal) consequences of a complex MDS will largely depend on the first event in the processing of the MDS.
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), which are formed by the Spo11 protein, initiate meiotic recombination. Previous DSB-mapping studies have used rad50S or sae2Δ mutants, which are defective in break processing, to accumulate Spo11-linked DSBs, and report large (≥ 50 kb) “DSB-hot” regions that are separated by “DSB-cold” domains of similar size. Substantial recombination occurs in some DSB-cold regions, suggesting that DSB patterns are not normal in rad50S or sae2Δ mutants. We therefore developed a novel method to map genome-wide, single-strand DNA (ssDNA)–associated DSBs that accumulate in processing-capable, repair-defective dmc1Δ and dmc1Δ rad51Δ mutants. DSBs were observed at known hot spots, but also in most previously identified “DSB-cold” regions, including near centromeres and telomeres. Although approximately 40% of the genome is DSB-cold in rad50S mutants, analysis of meiotic ssDNA from dmc1Δ shows that most of these regions have substantial DSB activity. Southern blot assays of DSBs in selected regions in dmc1Δ, rad50S, and wild-type cells confirm these findings. Thus, DSBs are distributed much more uniformly than was previously believed. Comparisons of DSB signals in dmc1, dmc1 rad51, and dmc1 spo11 mutant strains identify Dmc1 as a critical strand-exchange activity genome-wide, and confirm previous conclusions that Spo11-induced lesions initiate all meiotic recombination.
During meiosis, the two copies of each chromosome present in the full (diploid) genome come together and then separate, forming haploid gametes (sperm and eggs, in animals). Recombination, which swaps DNA between chromosomes, is critical for chromosome pairing and separation, and also promotes genetic diversity in the next generation, providing the feedstock for evolution. DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), which are formed by the conserved Spo11 nuclease, initiate meiotic recombination. DSB mapping is thus an alternative to standard genetic analysis for determining where meiotic recombination occurs. DSBs have been most extensively mapped in budding yeast mutants that fail to remove Spo11 from break ends, blocking further recombination steps. Paradoxically, those studies indicated that DSBs are absent from large regions where recombination was known to occur. We developed a new DSB mapping method that purifies and analyzes the single-strand DNA formed at breaks after Spo11 removal. This new map shows that DSBs (and by inference, recombination) actually occur frequently throughout almost all of the budding yeast genome, in a distribution that is consistent with recombination's roles in chromosome pairing and in generating genetic diversity. This new mapping method will be useful for studying meiotic recombination and DNA damage repair in other organisms.
The authors developed a new method to detect DNA damage genome-wide, and they used it to show that meiotic recombination is more uniformly distributed in budding yeast than was previously believed.
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) arise spontaneously after the conversion of DNA adducts or single-strand breaks by DNA repair or replication and can be introduced experimentally by expression of specific endonucleases. Correct repair of DSBs is central to the maintenance of genomic integrity in mammalian cells, since errors give rise to translocations, deletions, duplications, and expansions, which accelerate the multistep process of tumor progression. For p53 direct regulatory roles in homologous recombination (HR) and in non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) were postulated. To systematically analyze the involvement of p53 in DSB repair, we generated a fluorescence-based assay system with a series of episomal and chromosomally integrated substrates for I-SceI meganuclease-triggered repair. Our data indicate that human wild-type p53, produced either stably or transiently in a p53-negative background, inhibits HR between substrates for conservative HR (cHR) and for gene deletions. NHEJ via microhomologies flanking the I-SceI cleavage site was also downregulated after p53 expression. Interestingly, the p53-dependent downregulation of homology-directed repair was maximal during cHR between sequences with short homologies. Inhibition was minimal during recombination between substrates that support reporter gene reconstitution by HR and NHEJ. p53 with a hotspot mutation at codon 281, 273, 248, 175, or 143 was severely defective in regulating DSB repair (frequencies elevated up to 26-fold). For the transcriptional transactivation-inactive variant p53(138V) a defect became apparent with short homologies only. These results suggest that p53 plays a role in restraining DNA exchange between imperfectly homologous sequences and thereby in suppressing tumorigenic genome rearrangements.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonucleases Apn1 and Apn2 act as alternative pathways for the removal of various 3′-terminal blocking lesions from DNA strand breaks and in the repair of abasic sites, which both result from oxidative DNA damage. Here we demonstrate that Tpp1, a homologue of the 3′ phosphatase domain of polynucleotide kinase, is a third member of this group of redundant 3′ processing enzymes. Unlike Apn1 and Apn2, Tpp1 is specific for the removal of 3′ phosphates at strand breaks and does not possess more general 3′ phosphodiesterase, exonuclease, or AP endonuclease activities. Deletion of TPP1 in an apn1 apn2 mutant background dramatically increased the sensitivity of the double mutant to DNA damage caused by H2O2 and bleomycin but not to damage caused by methyl methanesulfonate. The triple mutant was also deficient in the repair of 3′ phosphate lesions left by Tdp1-mediated cleavage of camptothecin-stabilized Top1-DNA covalent complexes. Finally, the tpp1 apn1 apn2 triple mutation displayed synthetic lethality in combination with rad52, possibly implicating postreplication repair in the removal of unrepaired 3′-terminal lesions resulting from endogenous damage. Taken together, these results demonstrate a clear role for the lesion-specific enzyme, Tpp1, in the repair of a subset of DNA strand breaks.